IYC decries security agencies’ preferential treatment of Arewa youths
• Secession not an option, Shehu Sani tells agitators, north
• Ford Foundation boosts conflict prevention, peace building
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) yesterday alleged that the preferential treatment given to the Arewa youth leaders by security agencies smacks of double standard when compared with the treatment of groups and agitators from other parts of the country.
The group, therefore, charged the security agencies to rise above politics and stop the double standards in the performance of their duties.
A statement signed by its President, Eric Omare, stated that the youth leaders who issued the quit notice to the Igbo in the north should be made to account for their actions to avoid unnecessary loss of lives and property.
“The Arewa youths’ quit notice to the Igbo living in the North to leave their part of the country by October 1, amounts to serious threat to national security and the indivisibility of the country.
“However, the security agencies have remained silent over the security threat posed by the Arewa youths quit notice. The IYC is sure that if similar threat had been issued by youths from other parts of the country especially the Niger Delta region, communities such as Kaiama, Okerenkoko, Warri, Yenagoa and the entire Niger Delta region would have been under security siege,” the statement said.
In a related development, representative of Kaduna Central senatorial district, Shehu Sani has told Biafran agitators and the northern youths that secession was not an option.
He said Nigeria holds huge promise for Africa and the black race, and as such, there was the need for restructuring of the country so that all stakeholders could reap the benefits of togetherness.
He made the assertions in an interview with journalists yesterday in Kaduna, arguing that having a new master plan for the country would address the socio-economic and political injustices in Nigeria, which he said, were fuelling the agitations.
“The Igbo living in the North are there because they believe in one Nigeria. If they do not believe in one Nigeria, they would have gone back to their homeland.”
He, however, added that the secessionists should not determine the fate of this country, saying: “If they are for secession, we are for unity.”
Meanwhile, worried by the plethora of quit notices and hate speeches, the Ford Foundation has set up a group to douse tensions that have been created across the country in recent times.
Tagged: “National Working Group on Peace Building and Conflict Prevention,” it is aimed at monitoring and engaging the various social formations in Nigeria towards peace and conflict prevention.
The initiative is the outcome several peace building and conflict resolution programmes organised in the six geo-political zones by Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER), with the support of Ford Foundation’s West Africa Regional Office.
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