The Chairman of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Ambassador Shettima Yarima, has said the quit notice given to Igbo in the northern states stands, pending the outcome of their current consultations across board.
“Our stand on Biafra still stands. But when the period expires, we are not going to expel them by force. We don’t have the constitutional power to do that. So whoever does not believe in Nigeria can leave at his will peacefully. We are not using any force to eject them from the North,” he said.
Yarima spoke at a town hall meeting organised by a coalition of northern youths at Ni’imah Guest Palace Hotel, Kano under the leadership of Nastura Ashir Sharif.
In his keynote address, Sharif said that apart from the quit notice, they had also written to the United Nations on the violent activities of the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, urging them to declare him a terrorist and his agitation illegal.
According to him, the Arewa youths are still expecting a response from the UN which would guide their next move. “That is why we say our quit notice still stands and our resolve that anybody who doesn’t want to stay in Nigeria should vacate our region still stands, but we are not going to use force to actualize that. We will do it through peaceful means, this is because of the fact that one cannot be living with us and talking Biafra,” Sharif stated.
He said it was sad that people focused more on the quit notice issued by the northern youths rather than on a “presented recorded video evidence where Nnamdi Kanu called for genocide like what happened in Rwanda.”
Sharif revealed that “After our Kaduna Declaration, when we issued a quit notice to all Igbo residing in the North to leave the region on or before 1st October, 2017, we received various calls from people both within and outside the country telling us to review our stand and come up with other demands or issues affecting the North.”
He said they were advised to go beyond Biafra issue and come up with strategies to tackle issues bothering on economy, unemployment, security, Almajiri and drug abuse as they affect the North.
“We are indeed heeding the calls, that is why we are here in Kano holding a Town Hall meeting in line with the advice. We would organise similar meetings in North East and North Central after which we will come up with our final stand regarding this issue,” he said.
Prof. Aliyu Jibia, who is the chairman of the Arewa Summit Development Initiative, in his submission, lamented the issue of Almajiri, urging the people to rise against the menace by proffering lasting solution to it.
He revealed that on the 1st of October, the group would hold a one- million-man march to sensitize the people on the menace of Almajiri that has been affecting the region for many years.