Says govt must rescue train victims alive 

Take steps to end killing of northerners or face legal consequences,  Arewa youths tell South East govs

No ethnic, religious killing ín Anambra —State govt

By Anayo Okoli & Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo

Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has expressed worry over the killing of northerners in the South-East, saying Nigerians were no longer safe wherever they are.

This is even as Arewa youths, under the aegis of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, yesterday appealed to South East governors to take steps to end the killing of northerners in the east or face legal consequences.

Anambra State government, has, however, dismissed insinuations of of ethnic or religious killings in the state.

Secretary-General of the ACF, Murtala Aliyu who stated this yesterday, said:  “If you look at the security of the country, it is quite unfortunate that today, Nigerians are not safe in their country.

“Our main worry is regarding the situation in the South-East, yes northerners are equally victims but even the other Nigerians who are living there are not safe.  I think the important thing is to look at it holistically beyond regional or sectarian basis.

”So our own take as ACF is that government must take this thing seriously. A lot of energy is being spent on this electioneering  thing..If election is necessary, bringing a new government is necessary, but I think before this government leaves, we must do something about security. 

”Otherwise, even election will be impossible in some locations.  The moment some parts of the country are not conducive for election, elections would not be conclusive. 

”Once elections are not conclusive, do not adequately cover the country,,it means everything would be questionable.  I think it is important government brings all the attention to security.

”In the South-East, from the insurgents or IPOB or gunmen or whatever you call them, in the North the bandits, ISWAP, Boko Haram and so on, it’s important government puts attention to security more than any other thing.”

On the threat by terrorists to start killing the abducted train passengers in seven, if their demands were not met, the ACF scribe said the federal government should know that the responsibility of government was primarily the safety of the lives and property of the citizens.

”For God’s sake, government must do the necessary, do all it takes.   They must secure these people alive.  This is our position and I think the position of every reasonable person,” the ACF scribe said.

Similarly, Arewa Youth  Consultative Forum, AYCF, challenged governors of the South east  governors to take urgent steps to end the killing of innocent northerners or face the legal consequences of their inaction.

After an emergency meeting in Kaduna, the AYCF, in a statement signed by its National  President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, said the murder of northerners working or trading in the Southeast at the slightest opportunity was totally unacceptable.. 

The group said it was expecting Governor Soludo of Anambra State to use his exposure in governance and management to tackle the killings but expressed disappointment at his inability nip the killings in the bud.

“The fact that the governors of the Southeast are the chief security officers of their states but do nothing to stop the unprovoked killing of northerners presupposes an ethnic cleansing agenda and we condemn it, in whatever guise – IPOB attack or ESN,” the statement noted.

The AYCF said the killing of a mother and the baby she cuddled as well as the Christian aircraft engineer of Northern extraction meant the lives of northerners were no longer valued in the Southeast.

“the silence of these governors, despite the brutal attacks on our sons and daughters in the Southeast,  must be stopped now and we want to sound our note of warning  that no Nigerian has the monopoly of violence and that northerners’ respect for the rule of law should never be taken as a weakness,” the AYCF said.

Meanwhile, Anambra State  government has denied reports that religious killing was going on ín thè state.

ln a statement by thè Chief Press Secretary to Governor Chukwuma Soludo, Christain Aburime, the government said: “This release has become necessary to set the record straight.

“While it is true that there is general insecurity across the country, there is no targeted religious or ethnic killings in Anambra State. As a matter of fact, Anambra indigenes have suffered more casualties as a result of the unfortunate killings.

“The insensitive slant of the report has the tendency to stir anger and disaffection in other parts of the country.

“The report, therefore, is totally unacceptable and inimical to the unity and progress of the nation.

“The government of Anambra State, hereby, states that the report is not only sensational but also misleading and should be immediately retracted to reflect the real situation on ground.”

“It is on record that Ndi Anambra and people of the North and other parts of the country who live and do business in the state, not only share common values, but also have always lived at peace with each other in the state.

“Governor Soludo’s administration has not only demonstrated commitment in tackling insecurity but has also continuously reassured both indigenes and non-indigenes in the state of their protection and safety.”

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