- Â IPOB leader recants, insists on Anambra election boycott
Â By John Shiklam in Kaduna and David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) has called for the immediate arrest of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, declaring that his activities were responsible for the increasing hate speeches and tension in the country.
The AYF in a statement yesterday in Kaduna, noted that hate speeches and quit notices permeating the country were a direct fallout of the activities of Kanu
National President of AYF, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, who signed the statement, said action must be taken against Kanuâ€™s activities which, according to him, is responsible for the current divisive tendencies that threaten the nationâ€™s unity.
According to Gunjungu, it was Kanuâ€™s utterances that warranted the quit notice issued by northern youths to Igbo living in the northern part of the country.
The group blamed the federal government for failing to take action against IPOB leader despite the fact he had violated all the bail conditions for his release.
The group maintained that as a result of Kanuâ€™s activities, almost every part of the country is threatening the other with quit notices.
â€œAs the umbrella organisation of all youths in the North, we are worried of the descend to regionalism by major actors in the country but the federal government is to be blame.
â€œKanu has violated all his bail conditions but the judiciary has kept mute. The federal government on the other hand is allowing him to carry on as if he is operating a country with the Nigerian state.
â€œA character like Kanu should not be allowed to hold the country to ransom. The earlier government act, the better.
â€œWe also want to use this opportunity to call on all those who, through their utterances or actions are doing what is threatening to dismember the country to desist from such, as we are better together as one indivisible country.
â€œWe are of the believe that the federal government has the capacity to reign in all those threatening the cooperate existence of the country, the government must not fail in its duty….â€ Gujungu said.
The AYF, while welcoming Buhari back to the country from medical vacation in London, urged him to send the cabal in Aso Rock that has been a clog in the wheel of progress of his administration and preventing the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo from performing his duties.
â€œWe are happy to see that Mr. President has improved tremendously and our prayer is that Allah (SWT) will continue to strengthen him, hear our prayers so that he would now have the strength to carry on with the work that Nigerians overwhelmingly mandated him to do for them in 2015.
â€œAs critical stakeholders that have been praying and keeping vigil for your safe return, youths from the 19 Northern states implore you to as a matter of urgency immediately send out the cabals that have been impeding on the progress of your administration.
â€œThis cabals that many referred to as the hyenas and the jackals have been hindering men of goodwill in your administration from functioning properly including the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and the earlier you send them away the better, before they derail your government,â€ the statement urged.
Meanwhile, the IPOB leader, Kanu, has denied that he has shelved his position on the boycott of the Anambra State governorship election in November.
The Media and Publicity Secretary of the group, Emma Powerful, in a statement, said: â€œOur mission to Ekwulobia is to sensitise Biafrans to know the reason why it is necessary to boycott Anambra election and other subsequent elections in Biafran land and to tell the world that election boycott stands.
â€œWe refute the rumours going round now that our leader, Kanu, has withdrawn the order IPOB gave against Anambra gubernatorial election on November 18, 2017. IPOBâ€™s order of â€˜no electionâ€™ remains unless the Nigerian government gives us date for referendum, we are not calling for war.â€
Kanu said the group was not at Ekwulobia to play Nigeria politics, rather to show the whole world how serious and determined they were towards the restoration of Biafra independence.
â€œThere will be no election in the whole of Biafra land, no retreat, no surrender because we have taken it as a point of duty to restore Biafra without war. Anybody or group calling for war is doing that at his or her own detriment. We are calling on the United Nations and other relevant human rights organisations across the globe to prevail on the Nigerian government to give us date for referendum to ascertain whether the people of Biafra want to stay in Nigeria or not.
â€œIPOB under Kanu is a peaceful and ordained movement that is bent only to restore Biafra independence. We are not fighting for our personal gain and we are only interested in Biafra restoration or nothing, IPOB will boycott election in Anambra State.â€