Igbo eviction: El-Rufai orders arrest of youths

The Kaduna State government has condemned the eviction order issued on Igbo resident in North and ordered the arrest, investigation and prosecution of the signatories to the statement.

The government warned that nobody could tamper with the freedom of Nigerians to reside where they choose.

In a statement issued in Kaduna on Wednesday, the state government said that the constitutional right of every Nigerian to own property, move freely and to live in peace and harmony is sacrosanct.

Mr. Samuel Aruwan, spokesman to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, said in a statement that the Kaduna State Government strongly condemns the inciting, hate speech delivered by some self-appointed “northern youths” seeking to target and violate the rights of our citizens of Igbo extraction.

“The Kaduna State Government takes exception to the fact that the “northern youths” did their irresponsible press conference in Kaduna.

“This government has been consistent in taking action to punish hate speech and incitement.

“People who may feel unhappy about irresponsible comments or actions that have taken place in other states must know that two wrongs cannot make a right, and they cannot use our state to do or say things that threaten the peace.’’

The government condemns the youths that threatened the safety and property of “our citizens of Igbo extraction’’.

Government assures every resident of the state that it was their constitutional and human rights to live peacefully and own property wherever they choose.

“Even people who may feel unhappy about irresponsible comments or actions that have taken place in other states must know that two wrongs cannot make a right.’’

“We will not tolerate such irresponsible statements and conduct in our state.

The statement issued by the “northern youths” violated the laws of Kaduna State.

“Therefore, the Kaduna State Government has directed that its Ministry of Justice should prepare charges and prosecute the signatories and anyone complicit in arranging this egregious assault on the rights of fellow citizens.

“Preparatory to the prosecution, the police have been directed to immediately arrest, interrogate the signatories to the statement and investigate all the circumstances and persons that may be implicated in the matter.

The government urged all residents to ignore the threats from the “northern youths”.

“We are in contact with the leadership of the Igbo community in Kaduna, and we delighted to say that this community, like all our other communities, believes in the strength of the constitutional order to protect all citizens.

“The government wishes to encourage all our people to celebrate the diversity with which the Almighty has blessed us, to continue to shun agents of division, and to stand firm in upholding a common humanity. Everyone has a right to live in peace and harmony.”

In his reaction, former Vice President and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said condemned the ultimatum issued by a Northern youth coalition.

“The ultimatum to the Igbos to quit the region and the counter response by a South-east group is not only provocative, reckless and thoughtless, but also a grave threat to national security and peaceful coexistence.’’

He explained that he was alarmed by the latest dangerous outbursts, warning that it does not augur well for the North and the country at large.

In a statement on Wednesday, he said that for a country facing threats of disunity, such ultimatum and counter rhetoric at this time was most irresponsible and callous, “because it is capable of setting off a chain of ugly events nobody could control’’.

The APC chieftain warned politicians of all hues to distance themselves from such divisive rhetoric because, according to him, the consequences of such association could ultimately consume them.

He noted that all grievances should be peacefully discussed and resolved through negotiations, and not through threats to fellow citizens.