Wednesday, June 7, 2017 4:50 pm
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Wednesday asked security agencies to arrest of leaders of the Arewa groups that issued an ultimatum to Igbos to vacate the northern part of the country before October.
The northern groups had at a press briefing on Tuesday ordered all Igbo residing in the northern part of the country to leave or face ‘ejection,’ in response to the recent agitations for the State of Biafra and sit at home protest ordered by the Indegenous People of Biafra, IPOB across the country.
But while strongly condemning the order in a statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, his spokesperson, El-Rufai said the state government has ordered the arrest, investigation and prosecution of the signatories to the statement
“We will not tolerate such irresponsible statements and conduct in our state. The statement issued by the “northern youths” violates the laws of Kaduna State. Therefore, the Kaduna State Government has directed that its Ministry of Justice should prepare charges and prosecute the signatories and anyone complicit in arranging this egregious assault on the rights of fellow citizens,” he said.
According to him, preparatory to prosecution, the police have been directed to immediately arrest, interrogate the signatories to the statement and investigate all the circumstances and persons that may be implicated in the matter.
“Government assures every resident of our state that their constitutional and human rights to live peacefully and own property wherever they choose is sacrosanct. Even people who may feel unhappy about irresponsible comments or actions that have taken place in other states must know that two wrongs cannot make a right,” the governor added.
The Governor added that he believed in and will uphold the right of every Nigerian to live safely and develop his/her full potentials within its territory.
“Reckless disregard for the rights of other citizens drips through the press statement by these “northern youths” who have chosen to use the discourse around restructuring to promote their own agenda of hate, division and incitement.
“This sort of opportunists cannot be allowed to distort debate, or turn it into a pretext for a barely-disguised agenda of displacement and dispossession of some citizens.
“The Kaduna State Government urges all residents to ignore the threats from the “northern youths.” We are in contact with the leadership of the Igbo community in Kaduna, and we are delighted to say that this community, like all our other communities, believes in the strength of the constitutional order to protect all citizens,” he added.
The Governor urged residents to continue to shun agents of division, and to stand firm in upholding a common humanity, saying everyone has a right to live in peace and harmony.
He also assured every resident of the state that nobody can tamper with their freedom to reside where they choose adding that the state government has been consistent in taking action to punish hate speech and incitement.