Arewa youths urge Igbo leaders to end pro-Biafra protests
From Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) yesterday came an advice that Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other leaders in the South East should immediately intervene in the agitation by members of the Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and save Nigeria from disintegration.
The northern youths, who noted that the level of poverty and unemployment in the country has led to frustration among Nigerian youth across the nation, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to initiate programmes for industrial and agricultural development and meaningfully engage the youths.
President of the AYF, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, who spoke after an emergency meeting in Kaduna yesterday, said: “We are worried by the situation in the South East of the country where youths have taken to the street protesting perceived marginalisation of their zone and demanding a state of Biafra.
“As the umbrella body of all northern youths, we condemn the development in its entirety, because it is being carried out in bad fate and we expect all well meaning Nigerians to do same.”
Besides, in a statement issued by Gujugun after the meeting, he said: “We want the leaders from the South East to immediately call the protesters to order. This is the time to show leadership by bringing the situation under control before it gets out of hand. Apart from condemning the protest, we expect leaders from the zone to have a parley with organisers of the protest and make sure that it is brought to an end immediately.”
Gujungu said “we want to reiterate that we are apostles of one indivisible Nigeria and will continue to work across the length and breath of the country to engender peace, unity and progress for all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion and region, most especially among the youths. We believe that is the only way to bring growth and development to the people.
“It is because of this that we are calling on all Nigerians to remain anywhere they are in the country. We specifically call on our brothers and sisters from the South East to remain anywhere they are in the north as they will be adequately protected and we will make sure that nothing happens to them”.
Insisting that the Federal Government should address the problem of poverty and unemployment that has worsen crime situation in Nigeria, the AYF leader said: “We also want to call on President Buhari-led Federal Government to act immediately and quell any move that will lead to breakdown of law and order and bring it under control before it escalates.
“This is because it is still fresh in the mind of many Nigerians that it was the inability of the then government to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency and nip it in the board that caused the situation to deteriorate to this level.”