From: GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, OWERRI
The leadership of the United Eastern Congress Youths believes that the recent quit order issued to the Igbo living in the northern part of the country by a coalition of Arewa youths has a political undertone as none of the youths leaders have been arrested for trying to incite ethnic violence in the country.
This was just as the organisation has admonished the Igbo and other south easterners living in any part of the country to return back to their ancestral lands, insisting that there was no guarantee that their lives and properties would be protected in the event that Arewa youths eventually carried out their threat to forcefully evict the Igbo at the expiration of their ultimatum in October 2017.
National Secretary of the Organisation, Mr. Omon Ekpenyong, who stated this, on Friday, in Owerri, the Imo State capital, noted that the statement of the northern youths was not only treasonable, but capable of igniting ethnic war in the country.
According to him, “My people I am greatly worried that up till this moment, nobody has been apprehended over the issue in the north with the Arewa youths, while if it were to be the Christian youths that gave the Hausa’s quit notice, which we are the right people to do so, because of the marginalisation and the killing of Christians in the north.
“Our leaders will go as far as ordering the killing and mass arrest of all the youths for prosecution. It is time for us to stand up and also ask them to vacate our terrain for peace to reign. C R K has been removed from their curriculum to study Arabic in the northern schools. I believe it is time for God to do his will, as it happened to the children of Israel in Exodus 12:40-41.
“Yes, Governor el-Rufai directed for the arrest of those Arewa youths, but I see it as a mere statement because up till now no meaningful arrest has been made and at the same time, they are gaining the support of a senator of the federal republic of Nigeria. The co-convener of the coalition of Northern groups Yerima Shettima even made it open that he has the support of his Elders. What are we not talking of. Is our perception not coming to reality.”
He added, “When did Shettima Yerima and his collaborators become the Nigerian law enforcement agency? This is to show how marginalised the south is. This issue is related to beating a child and asking him not to cry which is the highest level of suppression. If I may ask, the northerners who come to the south and make little or no investment, don’t even pay house rent and have nothing to add to the region’s resource and well-being and the southerners who invest without any rethink. Who amongst them have the unity of the nation in mind. Asking Igbo to leave any region of Nigeria is baseless”.
He therefore called on the Igbo residing in the North to come back home, noting, “the Igbo have over N44 trillion investment in the north, that we know, but their lives are more important than those things
As we are beckoning on the Federal Government and security operatives to protect our people, the Igbo should get ready to defend themselves in case there arise any attack from the Arewa youths”.