John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Kaduna State Government has obtained a bench warrant for the arrest of members of the coalition of Northern youths that issued the quit notice to Igbos resident in the North to leave the region by October 1.
The government, in a statement Thursday in Kaduna, urged members of the public to inform the police anytime those who issued the quit notice are seen or sighted.
A group of Northern youths had in June ordered Nigerians of South-east extraction to leave the North on October 1 to actualise their agitation for an independent nation of Biafra or face the consequences, declaring that the North could no longer live in the same country with Igbos.
However, the group was roundly condemned by the Northern governors and many prominent Northerners.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State had ordered for their arrest following the declaration but nothing became of the directive.
The coalition was to later retrace its steps by withdrawing the ultimatum, following consultations and mediation by both Northern and Igbo leaders.
The statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, spokesman to the Kaduna governor, said: â€œWhen some elements barged into our state capital to deliver an illegal ultimatum to a section of our community, the government condemned it and ordered the arrest of those concerned.â€
He said the state government had lodged a criminal complaint against those behind the quit notice and obtained a bench warrant against them.
â€œTherefore, anybody that sights them or is aware of their location should proudly discharge the civic duty of informing the police,â€ statement said.
According to the state government, â€œThe criminal complaint specifies the sections of the recently updated Penal Code Law of Kaduna State, 2017 that were violated by those who issued the illegal ultimatum.
â€œThese include Inciting Disturbance: Section 78; Disturbing Public Peace: Section 77; Injurious Falsehood: Section 373; Unlawful Assembly: Section 66; and Criminal Conspiracy: Section 59.
â€œThe formal criminal complaint and the bench warrant secured on August 8, 2017, provide a basis to investigate, apprehend and ultimately prosecute the suspects.
â€œAccordingly, a competent court has directed the Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State to act on the criminal complaint. The Kaduna State Government considers this a most important matter of law enforcement, and will not relent on the matter.
â€œAnybody contemplating unlawful action should know that such will invite a vigorous law enforcement response.
â€œThe Kaduna State Government is persuaded that a law-governed society should always signal that sanctions will follow illegal behaviour. This is in the interest of justice, peace and harmony.â€
The statement called on all residents of the state to go about their lawful business, uphold and respect their neighbours and report any suspicious activity or person.
â€œNobody has the power to evict another citizen or to tell them where they can or cannot live,â€ the statement warned.
The statement added that the government and the security agencies were working to prevent any threats to peace and harmony, adding that vigorous security patrols will continue as part of concrete actions to reassure residents and demonstrate that bad behaviour was unwelcome and would not be tolerated.