Kaduna State governor Nasir El Rufai has instructed the Police to immediately arrest all those who signed a statement asking all Igbos to leave the Northern states within three months.He also said they should be prosecuted.
In a statement on Wednesday by his Senior Special Assistant-Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, the governor said ” Kaduna State Government believes in and will uphold the right of every Nigerian to live safely and develop his/her full potentials within its territory”.
Condemning the youths’ action, the governor described their statement as irresponsible. He said it was a “reckless disregard for the rights of other citizens.”
Some Northern groups had issued a statement on Tuesday demanding Igbos residing in the Northern Nigeria to leave within three months or be forcefully ejected at the expiration of October 1, 2017 deadline. The group also asked Northerners in the South-East to get prepared to come back home. Arewa Youth Consultative Forum was among the groups.
Below is the statement in part, “The Kaduna State Government condemns in the strongest terms the press statement by some self-appointed “northern youths” that threatened the safety and property of our citizens of Igbo extraction. 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 Kaduna State Government believes 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.
“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.
“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.
“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 delighted to say that this community, like all our other communities, believes in the strength of the constitutional order to protect all citizens.
“KDSG wishes to encourage all our people to celebrate the diversity with which the Almighty has blessed us, to continue to shun agents of division, and to stand firm in upholding a common humanity. Everyone has a right to live in peace and harmony.”
The Northern group’s had been grieved by the recent sit-at-home order by the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) which forced people including Northern indigenes from carrying out their businesses in the South-East.