A group of Northern youths operating under the Arewa Agenda which is a forum for young writers from the Northern region of Nigeria has commended Igbo leaders for their timely intervention during the #Endsars protests.
In a press statement issued by the leader of the group, Mohammad Dahiru Lawal he commended Chief Ralph Uwazuruike and the President General of Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Nnia Nwodo, for dissociating their groups from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The group further acknowledged the apology tendered by the Igbo leader in Kano, Igwe Dr Boniface Igbekwe over what they described as “unruly behaviours of misguided Igbo youths in Sabon Gari area”.
The statement read in parts:
“We at the Arewa Agenda, a forum of young writers from Northern Nigeria towards peaceful coexistence and national development, find it necessary to react to recent developments over EndSARS protests.
“Besides the COVID-19 Pandemic that has unsettled the world this year, protest against Police brutality is an issue that has sparked crises in strategic countries of the world, threatening the breakdown of law and order in some cases.
“The death of Mr. George Floyd, 46, triggered a wave of protests across the United States, world power and symbolic country on the American continent in June.
“Britain, a strategic nation and heartbeat of the European continent followed suit in protesting against increased use of stop and search during the COVID-19 lockdown in areas with large black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) populations, as well as in showing solidarity with demonstrators in theUS. A total of 27 police officers were hurt during protests in London, the Met Police later revealed.
“Nigeria as a global symbol of Africa’s reference point has its own share of the sweeping wave when in October, Nigerian youths embarked on a peaceful protest tagged #EndSARS to demand the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit, as well as, other reforms in the Nigerian Police Force (NPF).
“What started out as a peaceful demonstration by thousands of youths, degenerated into chaos after the protests were hijacked by hoodlums.
“In no time, the hijacked protest became characterized by inter-ethnic actions and incitements which culminated into direct attacks on our Nations Security Architecture, resulting to irrational casualties that has caused reduction to our Nations security population, a size that is even grossly inadequate for the general population in the first place.
“Arewa Agenda as a body that stands united with partners in progress towards Peaceful Coexistence and National Development therefore commends the founder of the Movement for Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) Chief Ralph Uwazuruike and the President General of Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Nnia Nwodo, for dissociating their groups from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), led by a certain Nnamdi Kanu who directed members of the outlawed group to kill soldiers, policemen, burn police stations and destroy Yoruba assets in Lagos; a call that led to killings of some security operatives.
“This act has exposed the IPOB as a sinister group with an agenda for National chaos and disability which is negatively affecting everybody, not only the Igbos that are spread across the nation and hindering the operations of genuine groups fighting for equity, fairness and justice in the federation.
“We, on this front of young Arewa Writers, also commend the intervention of Afenifere, the Pan Yoruba Socio-Political Group who, through its national leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, disowned the 48 hours ultimatum given to some Nigeria nationals especially the Igbos to quit Yorubaland. The counter-threat by Mujaheed Asari Dokubo of the Niger Delta against Nnamdi Kanu’s incitement also dramatically reassures Muslims and Non-Indigene in the South-East and South-South of their safety and security.
“It is also worthy of note the timely apology tendered by the Igbo leader in Kano, Igwe Dr Boniface Igbekwe over unruly behaviours of misguided Igbo youths in Sabon Gari area of the populous state which calmed the frayed nerves.
“In the last few days, only very few would be aware of what our Northern traditional rulers, Islamic Clerics and security services have done to douse tension of reprisal attacks in some Northern communities that were about to go on fire.
“The nature of our fragility as a people united in diversity requires such pragmatic and patriotic intervention from the well-meaning representative of the people who do not see bloodshed and deadly confrontation on our citizens and system as a means to the desired end.
“In reiterating our commendation to these true representatives of the people, we wish to assure them that they are not alone in their quest towards moving our beloved nation forward.
“While we at Arewa Agenda for National Unity continue to echo our continued call for peaceful coexistence and national development, we wish to use this medium in calling on governments across all levels to prioritize a need based approach towards addressing the yearnings of fellow Nigerians.
“To our fellow countrymen, we need to know that there is strength in our diversity and only when we continue to come together like this, shall we exploit the true potentials that will propel us to greatness.”