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Despite nationwide condemnation, threat of arrest, Arewa group insists Igbos must leave Northern Nigeria

The leaders of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, have said that the threat of arrest by the government of Kaduna State will not stop them from insisting that people of Igbo extraction should leave the north.

The group, a coalition of some northern groups, insisted on its stance that Igbos leave the 19 northern states within three months.

One of the leaders of the group, who read their declaration on Tuesday, Abdulaziz Suleiman, said they held a meeting in Kaduna on Wednesday after the threat of arrest and decided that “there will be no retreat, no surrender”.

Mr. Abdulaziz, the National Coordinator of Northern Emancipation Network, NEN, informed newsmen on Wednesday evening that contrary to the position by Kaduna State government, they are not advocating violence.

“Our declaration did not mention violence at all. The Igbo have consistently insisted that they don’t want to be in Nigeria, let them therefore, go back to their places

“They don’t believe in Nigeria, so, we also don’t believe in them,” he said.

Mr. Suleiman also accused Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State of playing politics over the matter.

“Where was El Rufai when the Igbos gave the Fulani ultimatum to leave their areas?

“Where was he when over 500 northerners were killed in Ile Ife? These people just politicise everything.

“Because he wants to run for President, he chose to ignore his people and appease the Igbo? Goodluck to him,” he said.

Like Mr. El-Rufai, the Nigerian government has also condemned the call by the northern coalition, assuring Nigerians that the threat by the group should be ignored.

“It is not new, but what I want to assure you is that the security agencies are on top of the situation,” the information minister, Lai Mohammed, said.

The call by the Northern group has also been condemned by Nigerians across ethnic and political divide, as well as Igbo groups like MASSOB and the Ohaneze Ndigbo with the latter cautioning Igbos in South-east Nigeria not to retaliate with a similar call.

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