by Samuel Ogundipe,
A defiant coalition of some youth from the northern part of the country on Wednesday afternoon convened another meeting to respond to Governor Nasir El-Rufai for condemning their attempt to kick out Nigerians of Igbo origin resident in Northern Nigeria.
The meeting, which was underway in Kaduna at the time of this report, is aimed at responding to Mr. El-Rufai for ordering the arrest and prosecution of members of the fringe group, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
Abdulaziz Suleiman, a coordinator of the group, said Mr. El-Rufai’s move to block his group from forcing a mass exodus of Igbo from northern states was “disappointing.”
“We are currently meeting to decide on how best to react,” Mr. Suleiman told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday afternoon.
“Personally, I am disappointed with some of our leaders. These types of threats were issued against the Fulani recently and no governor from the South came out to condemn it,” Mr. Suleiman added.
His group, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, caused a nationwide anxiety on Wednesdayafter it held a press conference in Kaduna Tuesday afternoon to give Igbo a 12-week deadline upon which they must vacate Northern Nigeria and return to East, the part of Nigeria with a predominantly Igbo population.
The group held the media briefing at the headquarters of Arewa Consultative Forum, a political and cultural association of Northern Nigeria leaders.
Mr. El-Rufai said the misguided elements failed to realise that every Nigerian has a right to live in any part of the country.
Walid Jibrin, a Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, joined Mr. El-Rufai in condemning Mr. Suleiman’s group, saying in a statement to PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday that the Igbo should not be disturbed.
“The Igbo are very broad-minded people who have helped to develop the economy of the North.
“There is no village, ward or town where you will not find an Igbo race living peacefully with the people.
“Igbo and the South-South people have always remained the allies of the North since independence. Any action that will lead Nigeria to a civil war should never be entertained especially now that Nigeria needs unity from everyone,” Mr. Jibrin, the chairman of the opposition PDP Board of Trustees, said.