In a video that appeared online late on Wednesday, Comrade Yerima Shettima, President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, and Isaac Balami of the Arewa Consultative Forum Congress, appealed for calm over the statement that has dominated headlines for the past couple of days.
In the video, Chief Balami advised Nigerians not to panic over the statement that was “being discussed globally”, while stressing the group’s history of peace, and preaching for unity.
“I think it is high time for us to come together and work on achieving one Nigeria.
“I think we have come a long way, this is not time for us to discuss separation. We need to work together as a nation and we must make this country work.
“I want to tell Nigerians living at home and in diaspora that there is hope.
“There is no cause for alarm, this is one Nigeria,” he said.
In the Tuesday declaration, the group expressed its displeasure with the Igbos’ constant agitation for its own independent nation, citing it as one of the key reasons for the declaration.
“From today, June 6, 2017, when this proclamation is signed, the North, a critical player in the Nigerian project, hereby declares that it will no longer be disposed to coexisting with the Igbos and shall take definite steps to end the partnership by pulling out of the current federal arrangement.
“This conclusion is necessitated by the realization that it since ceased to be comfortable or safe to continue sharing the same country with the ungrateful, uncultured Igbos who have exhibited reckless disrespect for the other federating units and stained the integrity of the entire nation with their insatiable criminal obsessions.”
The declaration met with widespread criticism from the country’s leaders including former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and current Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed who said, “It is not the first time that different groups will issue such threats.
“It is not new, but what I want to assure you is that the security agencies are on top of the situation.”
This was after the Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-rufai ordered the arrest of all the parties involved in the statement on Wednesday.
The press release read, “The Kaduna state government took exception to the fact that the ‘northern youths’ did their irresponsible press conference in Kaduna.
“This government has been consistent in taking action to punish hate speech and incitement. 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 and they cannot use our state to do or say things that threaten the peace.
“Kaduna state government has therefore ordered the arrest, investigation and prosecution of the signatories to the statement.
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