By Anthony Ogbonna
The northern youths’ group called Arewa Youths, under the aegis, the Northern Youth Coalition, has urged all northerners residing in any part of Nigeria to henceforth, ignore any agitation or activity whatsoever, from the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his supporters, saying the whole essence of Kanu and his IPOB’s agitation was to provoke reactions and or reprisals from Northerners and make Nigeria ungovernable.
Spokesman of the group, AbdulAziz Suleiman, alongside other leaders such as Yarima Shatima and Mastura Sharif gave the statement in Kano on Wednesday during a press conference at the Nigerian Union of Journalists’ Press Centre.
Recall that the northern group had given all Igbo resident in the 19 northern states an eviction notice to vacate the region before October 1, 2017. The group later withdrew that order, saying they were misconstrued.
Also, following the deployment of military troops to the five south-eastern states by the Nigerian army in an exercise it tagged, Operation Python Dance II, clashes between the army and IPOB supporters as well as between IPOB supporters and Hausa communities in Umuahia and Rivers respectively erupted between last week Sunday and Tuesday.
The clashes heightened tension in some parts of the country, especially in the eastern region with many thinking there would be reprisal attacks.
But the Northern Youth Coalition said northerners would not be provoked into launching a reprisal attack, knowing full well that taking such moves would simply play into the calculations of IPOB.
The northern group also said that the singling out of Buhari for attacks by IPOB is a tactics to cause inter-regional crisis, adding that the Buhari/Osinbajo administration has since inception in this political dispensation been attacked by IPOB all to usher in a change of government by whatever means.
It however commended the army’s exercise in the south-east region as well as commended the Abia state Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu for declaring curfew in the state as part of the ways to salvage the volatile situation in Abia.
According to the group, “all the violent activities playing out are well planned to escalate by 2019, and starting from 2018 to prevent a successful conduct of elections and eventually the collapse of this Buhari government and democracy in Nigeria.”
“In this situation, it is essential that the north and northerners remain restrained and refuse to be provoked into reprisals which is the ultimate hope of the conflict instigators.
“The agitations and disturbances that have been ongoing ceaselessly since the coming of Buhari/Osibanjo administration are aimed at rendering the country practically ungovernable and ushering in of anarchy and instability, thereby occasioning a change of government by whatever means.
“And the singling out of Buhari for attacks is a tactics to cause inter-regional crisis possibly leading to general unrest.”