NORTHERN pressure group the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has warned the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) to desist from calling on cultural groups in the Middle Belt to join it in its protests.
Ipob is engaged in a running battle with the federal government over the arrest of its leader Nnamdi Kanu who was abducted by Nigerian security agent in Kenya and is currently facing treason charges in Abuja. His case is due for hearing on October and Ipob has threatened that it will shut Nigeria down if the Department of State Security fails to produce Mr Kanu on the day.
To make its national shutdown more effective, Ipob has called on other ethnic agitation groups like Yoruba Nation and the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) to join it on October 28. Objecting to this call on the MBF which it considers a northern group, the AYCF said Ipob and the southeast can sit-at-home for 10 years if they want but they should stay away from the north.
AYCF president Yerima Shettima, said Ipob’s action was a deliberate attempt to worsen Nigeria’s security challenges. He stressed that the north would not be a party to a deliberate, politically-motivated plan to undermine or worsen the nation’s current security challenges, adding that Ipob’s move to export its activities to the north would be resisted.
Mr Shettima lamented the fact that southeast governors seem to be okay with the activities of the pro-Biafra agitators in the region. He also urged northern governors to ensure that Ipob does not infiltrate the region with their activities.
“We know the southeast is Ipob’s home but exporting their activities to the north will be faced with massive resistance from all lovers of peace in the north. We call on northern governors to step up action in order to ensure this outlawed terror gang called Ipob does not infiltrate the region.
“We also expect the governors to ensure that any northerner who shuts down his shop in solidarity with Ipob, that shop should be sealed forever. And for the avoidance of doubt, we will not fold our arms and watch the north get further destabilised by a violent strategy, whether in Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Niger or any state in northern Nigeria because our hands are already full with challenges of insecurity and we are praying fervently day and night to find lasting peace.”