• ‘We’re still looking for them’
From Molly Kilete. Abuja
More than three weeks after the Arewa youths consultative group issued an October, 1, 2017, quit notice to Igbos living in the Northern, the Nigeria Police is yet to arrest them.
The Police has said they are still on the trail of leaders of the youth group, having been directed by Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to arrest them.
The police also disclosed they have placed the youth leaders on its list of wanted persons.
Regardless, police sources told Daily Sun, yesterday, that inability to arrest leaders of the Arewa group may not be unconnected with “political pressures” on the police leadership.
Besides, the source, who declined to be named, disclosed there are fears that “arresting these people may trigger religious and ethnic crises, which the police and the security agencies are trying to avoid. We don’t want to create any problem because, as soon as you being to arrest them, they will start fighting and doing all sorts and that will be the beginning of another big trouble, not only for the police but also, for the military and security agencies.”
He added that considering the security situation in the country, the order to arrest the leaders of te Arewa youth “may have to be on hold for now until the security situation improves.”
Nevertheless, Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, told Daily Sun, in an interview in Abuja, yesterday, that the police are still searching for the suspects and intend to arrest them as soon as possible.
“We are still looking for them, we will arrest them, that is just the situation. The IGP has directed all Commissioners of Police to look for them to arrest them.
“We still stand by our statement that nobody has the right to ask or call for people to relocate from anywhere. Every Nigerian has the right to own property anywhere in the country so we are still looking for them, police are out for them”. Moshood, said.
But, leader of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Shettima Yerima, said, on Tuesday, nobody has declared him wanted.
Yerima, however, said he would submit himself to the relevant security agency for questioning, if declared wanted. Yerima, who read the youths’ resolution, after a June 6 meeting in Kaduna, handed down a three-month ultimatum to Igbos, from the south east living in the 19 states in the North to vacate the region by October 1, 2017, or have themselves to blame.
Those who signed the resolution include Nastura Sharif (Arewa Citizens Action for Change); Aminu Adam (Arewa Youth Development Foundation); Alfred Solomon (Arewa Students Forum); Abdul-Azeez Suleiman (Northern Emancipation Network) as well as Joshua Viashman (Northern Youth Vanguard).