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30 Sep 2017

Quit Notice: El-Rufai Playing with Fire - Arewa Youths President, Yerima Talks on Arrest Warrant

President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Shettima Yerima has reacted to arrest warrant obtained against his members by Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai.
Alhaji Shettima Yerima

President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Shettima Yerima, has said that Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai was playing with fire by planning to arrest members of his group, who had issued quit notice to Igbo living in the north to leave the region on or before October 1.

The quit notice was a fallout of stay at home observed in the Southeast on May 30, following the order of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The Arewa youths had since suspended their quit notice order following interventions by political leaders across the country.

Governor El-Rufai had on Thursday, obtained court warrant to arrest the Northern youth leaders.

Reacting to this development, Yerima told Saturday Sun, that the governor’s action shows that he is an enemy of the Muhammadu Buhari government.

He said his AYCF doesn’t want to join issues with the governor because what was before them is to see how to build the country.

“Honestly, we really do not want to join issues with him, what is before us is how to rebuild the country, and so far, we have been doing that. Probably the governor is working to distract the government and we cannot be an agent to distracting the government.

“We will ensure we do everything within our limits to ensure that there is peace in the country, and we have been demonstrating this. We will not allow him to distract us”.

Yerima said they have not been summoned, and they would appear if summoned, as they were not above the law.

On whether the Northern elders who supported them would still stand by them, the AYCF leader said, when his group issued the quit notice, they didn’t consult the elders, and so cannot preempt what the elders are thinking in this direction.

He vowed that they would not go into hiding because of threats from El-Rufai, saying that, “we are not cowards. We are not hiding, and will never hide”

He noted that Nigerians would be in a better position to judge the Kaduna State governor, and to see if he is a true Nigerian, who actually wants peace in the country.

“We are wondering because El-Rufai never thought of this until few days before October 1, when the issue has been put behind us, and we have done wonderfully to nip in the bud any crisis that would arise in the north because of killings in the Southeast.

"We took it upon ourselves to go to Kano, a volatile area to address the northern youths, and warned that nobody should attack any Igbo in the region; more so, there shouldn’t be any reprisal attack. No one from Southeast was harassed in the north. For him to come now is a clear indication for Nigerians to know the true enemy of the government, as well as, true enemy of the country.”

Responding to the statement by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami that members of the AYCF could not be arrested over security reasons, Yerima said what El-rufai is trying to do portends danger.

“He is doing it to incite people against the government and he is playing with fire. That is exactly what he is demonstrating because there is peace in the land, and we are working to ensure that there is unity.

"About two weeks ago, we have conference of all the ethnic nationalities, where we resolved to work together in order to build a stable country as a panacea to having peace and progress, and to support the good policies of the government, and suddenly, El-rufai is coming up with this issue, after all the efforts we have been making to ensure peace.

"Nigerians should now know who is the true enemy of the country and the people. You keep asking yourself what does this man want? Is this man normal or under any influence? He is playing with fire,” Yerima stated.

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