From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has insisted that no matter how long it takes, Arewa youths who signed the October 1, 2017 quit order on Igbo in the North, would be arrested and prosecuted, to serve as deterrent to others.
This was even as the governor reassured Igbo of their safety in the North.
El-Rufai reiterated the arrest order when Igbo Delegate Assembly and Northern Igbo Chiefs visited the Government House, yesterday.
El-Rufai urged Igbo leaders to prevail on their youths against making statements and agitations capable of dividing Nigeria.
“Kaduna State Government is grateful to the Igbo for coming. Kaduna has suffered so much crisis, so, we are very sensitive to comments that incite and cause disaffection among the people.
“Kaduna used to be a home for all, but, so much crisis has divided the state and the metropolis, across religious lines.
“As a government, that is why we abolished indigeneship. Once you live in Kaduna, you are an indigene.
“We have arrested so many people over hate speeches and we are trying them. We are going to arrest the Arewa youths and bring them to justice, no matter how long it takes; since the press conference was done in Kaduna.
“If they had done it in any other place, we would have just condemned them, but, since it was in Kaduna, we are going to arrest them, no matter how long it takes. Kaduna has experienced so many crisis in the past and that is why we did not take chances in ordering for their arrest and prosecution”
“I have the mandate of the Northern Governors Forum, under the chairmanship of Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, to reassure the Igbo in the 19 northern states and Abuja that their lives and property are safe in the North.”
Earlier, President General of Igbo Delegate Assembly, Chief Chikezie Nwogu, commended the Federal Government and El-Rufai for their swift reaction to the quick notice .
Nwogu,who led the Igbo traditional rulers from the 19 northern states to Kaduna, on a courtesy visit to the governor, said Igbo are ready to remain in the north.
“We here in Kaduna, to hold a meeting, based on what has been happening in the North, especially with Arewa youths and the ultimatum given to Igbo and the agitations by IPOB. We are not here to condemn anybody. We thank the governor and other northern governors, traditional rulers and the federal government for their interventions at the heat of the issue.”
“We want the government to tackle the root cause of agitations and subsequent quit notice by northern youths and find solution. Let us look at the problem of the youths when there are complaints. It is also good to restructure in a way that will benefit everyone.
“We are not happy with the call for division. We want Nigeria as one so that all of us can benefit from. Northern youths have been our brothers. The Igbo are not going anywhere; we will remain with our Arewa brothers in the North,” Nwogu said.