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Against the backdrop of the recent rise in the spate of insecurity in the South East, the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF), has called on the Governors in the region to protect the lives and properties of Northerners living as minorities in the region.
AYCF National President, Yerima Shettima, made the call yesterday while reacting to the sit-at-home ordered by a faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which has been in place in the region since last weekened.
The Eastern Updates reports that the enforcement of the sit-at-home order had led to the escalation of violence across the Southeast.
However, Shettima condemned what he called the mindless, unrelenting violent disturbances created by certain interest groups in the South-East, in the form of the agitation for a separate State of Biafra.
A statement by Shettima reads: ‘Aware that the perpetrators of violence relentlessly pursuing this agenda of destruction and collective mayhem, fervently hope it will engulf the entire country and bring about mass killings and suffering of innocent people, the AYCF is today calling for guaranteed protection of the lives and properties of Northerners in the entire southeast.
‘We are worried that often the mindless violence and extremist terrorist actions perpetrated by IPOB and its followers in the South-East results in long-practised tactics of attacks against northerners and agents and symbols of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
‘We are therefore compelled to demand from the South-East Governors action to ensure an environment in which the Northerner is safe and secure wherever he chooses to live and work in the Southeast just as the North is ready to support other Nigerians to benefit from our tolerance and accommodation if they show appropriate respect for the context of their livelihoods.
‘It is in our culture to welcome and live with outsiders, and we must never be tired of reminding other Nigerians that the laws of the land demand that every Nigerian lives and earns his legitimate living in any part of Nigeria without discrimination or molestation.’
He, however, said the North is very much aware that the current Southeast governors are showing some level of commitment in resisting the terrorist tactics of the IPOB, unlike their predecessors.