Wednesday, December 9, 2020 9:18 am
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Northern Elders Forum has warned that attacks on Northerners living and doing business in the Southern part of Nigeria like it happened during #ENDSARS by the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, will no longer be accepted or tolerated.
Prof. Ango Abdullahi the Chairman of Northern Elders Forum gave the warning in Port Harcourt on Tuesday December 8, during a town hall meeting with Leaders of Northerners living and doing business in South-South geopolitical zone.
He said that from the interactive sessions the Elders of the North had with their kith and kins in their South-South ,it has become apparently clear that those who have dealt with Northerners are the ones who are crying more and asking for compensations.
“We suffered enough violence in the loss of lives and properties from different parts of the country in an enormous magnitude. Unfortunately, those who perpetrated it are the ones crying for compensations”.
He warned that the consequences of what we are seeing in terms of lives and assets lost, trucks loaded with foodstuffs burnt, houses burnt and so on will also be enormous.
Prof. Abdullahi who responded to questions arising from the interactive session in Hausa language, only spoke in English for what he summarized as “highlights” said the Elders are delighted to know that all Governors of the South-South, especially Governor Nyesom Wike made person efforts to safe lives and properties of Citizens.
According to him, “For us to be told by the residents of Rivers State that the Governor Wike was personally interested in protecting their rights to life, as he has sworn in his oath of office as Governor of theState, he has discharged a lot of those responsibilities.
“It has been confirmed that the other Governors in the South-South equally did the same to protect our People.”
Prof. Abdullahi pointed alleged that from interactions attacks against Northerners came from people from the Eastern part.
“It has therefore become clear that the attack on Northerners came from people who are from the South-Eastern states by people bearing some names. They use different brands of names that has become a facade they use in perpetrating culpable criminalities in different parts of the country.
During the Oyigbo incident of October 21, when #ENDSARS protest was hijacked, the arrowhead of the attack on Northerners and the burning of their trucks and foodstuffs were allegedly members of IPOB.
Prof Abdullahi who refrained from mentioning IPOB warned” It is now up to the authorities to assure all of us that this must stop. This must stop.
“The North will no longer allow these red lines to be crossed, because people get away with criminal behaviours without sanctions, punishment and so on, that why they keep recycling some of these irresponsible behaviours.
He stated that as leave the South-South, they will be heading to the South-East and hope to be speaking with the leadership there, especially the Governors to remind them of their responsibilities to protect lives of people irrespective of the places of Origin.
He warned that if the attacks on the Northerners continue, it will be difficult to restrain Northern youths to refrain from reprisal attacks on Southerners in the North.
“Failure to do so, especially if this continues, it will be difficult to ask our youths our various Communities to protect others, when their brothers are being killed and maimed in other parts of the country”.
He further warned that Northerners living other parts are not those who created the Police and the failure of the Police should not be visited on them, and that such excuse will no longer be acceptable or tolerated.
He promised that Northern Elders will be engaging those in the leadership positions and inform them that they are not doing enough to protect the Northerners in other parts of the country.