|File photo: Igbo men|
The northern group’s spokesperson, Abdulaziz Suleiman, said they would withdraw the statement this week.
The group waved the olive branch to Ndigbo after it had a meeting with the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima in Abuja on Sunday.
Governor shettima who confirmed the development however warned that the Arewa Youths group should not be criminalized as such would be counter-productive.
Moreover, according to Suleiman, “What we can say is that there has been a major development. Now the chairman of the Governors’ Forum has taken the initiative and invited us to start negotiations. This is the first time we are meeting publicly with any leader and we believe that it is a major step forward in our ongoing consultations.
“We hold the governor in high esteem and we have the unity of the country at heart”.
“You see, I wonder why you talk about quit notice. We only issued a Kaduna declaration, quit notice is just a part of it. Let us do the recounting of the successes of our declarations first. We are sill going on with our consultations”.
Confirming Arewa Youths’ decision to withdraw the order, Governor Shettima said, “We met with the leadership of the coalition of Northern Groups in my capacity as the chairman of the Northern Governors Froum.
“We had very fruitful discussion with them and they have shown a lot of courtesy and respect for the establishment. This is the first time that they are sitting down with the leadership of the forum.
“They were having interactions with His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto. I started conversations with them right from Kaduna yesterday and we continued the discussion today and by the grace of God, it is going to yield fruits.
“We are trying to have understanding of the challenges confronting us as a people and solutions to those challenges. I have to commend them for honouring our invitation because a political problem needs a political solution”.
Shettima cautioned against criminalising the group, adding that harassing and intimidating them would not bring solution to the nation’s challenges.
“They have agreed to revisit their decision and we will follow it up to its logical conclusion and I believe that in the next couple of days, we are going to get the good news from them.
“I don’t want to preempt them by saying that this is what will happen or not. But definitely, they have shown responsibility and commitment to the national cause and they have wider plans to promote the cause of national unity and cohesion.
“It was a very open, free and frank discussion, we heard their reservations and I gave them my reasons and believe me, by the time they hold their meeting this week, I think Nigerians will heave a sigh of relief.
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