By Egufe Yafugborhi— PORT HARCOURT
Outside the northern part of the country, most violent acts against northerners are perpetrated by Igbo, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has alleged.
Chairman of NEF, Professor Ango Abdullahi, raised the allegation on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State where the Forum kicked started a tour of northern communities across other parts of the country following the #EndSARS protests.
The NEF chief, after the Forum’s interaction with Governor Nyesom Wike the day before, addressed the fate of settlers from the North in Rivers and other neighbouring South-South states.
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The Northern Elders Forum’s leader added that “We came because we saw no reason innocent residents, wherever they are, irrespective of where they come from, who are not participating in the protest will be subjected to violence.
“They suffered enormous violence and loss of lives and assets of various magnitude.
“What was surprising to us was that those that perpetrated the violence against northerners are the same people who are crying more and calling for compensation.
“We take particular delight when we talked with the governor of the state. We were told by residents of Rivers that the governor was particularly interested in protecting them and their rights as he swore in his oath of office.
“It is now becoming clear that most of the violence that are being meted out to the northerners in various parts of the South came from people from the south-eastern states. People with some names.
“We are not sure what name really they want to keep. They come with different brands, use these names to perpetrated criminality in different parts of the country. For years, this particular incident has been with us.
“It is up to the authorities to assure all of us that this must end. This must stop. I think the North will no longer allow this redline to be crossed.
“It is because people get away with criminal behaviour without sanctions and punishment that is why they keep recycling this irresponsible behaviour.
“Therefore, as we leave the South-South, we will be heading for the South-East. We will be speaking with the leadership there, especially the governors, to remind them of their responsibility to protect residents irrespective of where they come from.
“Failure to do so, especially on this continuous bases, it will be difficult for all of us who have been restraining our various communities, especially our youths, to protect others when their brethren are being killed and maimed in other parts of the country,” the Northern Elders Forum’s leader added.