Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has rejected the recent call by proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on the Middle Belt zone to join its sit-at-home campaign, warning that no section of the North should be a party to “a deliberate, politically-motivated plan to undermine or worsen the nation’s current security challenges.”
In a statement signed by the group’s national president, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the AYCF said the North had come a long way in understanding the use of constitutional and democratic means of channelling legitimate grievances and cannot therefore be party to any undemocratic move”.
AYCF said since the governors of the Southeast seem to be satisfied with the activities of IPOB, “we hope they will continue with the sit-at-home for another ten years and we wish them the very best of luck. We know the southeast is IPOB’s home but exporting their activities to the North will be faced with massive resistance from all lovers of peace in the North.”
The group then declared, “We call on northern governors to step up action in order to ensure this outlawed terror gang called IPOB does not infiltrate the region. We also expect the governors to ensure that any northerner who shuts down his shop in solidarity with IPOB, that shop should be sealed forever. And for the avoidance of doubt, we will not fold our arms and watch the North get further destabilized by a violent strategy, whether in Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Niger or any state in Northern Nigeria because our hands are already full with challenges of insecurity and we are praying fervently day and night to find lasting peace”.
AYCF, in the statement, condemned what it described as the use of killings and arson to press home a demand that the democratic process in existence would have taken care of.
They said: “We call on Northerners of good conscience to avoid any undemocratic means, including burning of government-owned structures, where fellow Nigerians legitimately work to feed their families.”