John Shiklam in Kaduna
TheÂ Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) Monday said the threat by the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) to declare May 30 as â€˜a sit-at-home dayâ€™ was destructive and a threat to national cohesion.
In a statement, the forumÂ urged governors and elders from the South-east region to call their wards to order, stressing that such action is capable of causing chaos in the country.
The statement signed by the spokesman of the forum, Muhammad Ibrahim, recalledÂ that the sit-at-home order last year by the IPOB did not only infringe on the liberty and rights of innocent and law-abiding citizens residing in the South-east, but was also hijacked by hoodlums who used the opportunity to unleash terror andÂ mayhem on non indigenes.
â€œIt would be recalled that the sit-at-home order of last year by IPOB did not only infringe on the liberty and rights of innocent and law abiding citizens residing in the South-east zone of Nigeria, it was also hijacked by hoodlums who unleashed terror on non-indigenes. We therefore cannot afford a repeat of such incidence.
â€œGiven the benefit of hindsight, ACF therefore, calls on the South-east governors to prevail on their citizens to ignore such acts that seek to affect our sense of oneness and could also affect the economy and political stability of not only in the South-east but of Nigeria as a whole,â€ the statement said.
The forum urged members of IPOB to listen to the wise counsel of their elders and elected political representatives at both the national and state assemblies and adoptÂ due democratic process.
â€œOur present democratic structure provides sufficient avenue for people to give voice to their aspirations and vent their concerns. Nigerians should therefore avail themselves to this opportunity rather than seek to heat up the polity.
â€œACF also calls on the security agencies to put in adequate measures that will ensure the safety of all citizens in every part of country…
â€œOur faith in one indivisible Nigeria despite our moments of national instability and challenges has continued to be reaffirmed by individuals and groups at different fora.
â€œWe have also demonstrated it in words and deeds in our political sojourn. We cannot therefore jettison our collective sacrifice for primordial sentiments that would do no one any good,â€ the ACF said.
The forum said further that Â Nigeria, like all developing nations, has challenges which can be overcome through collective hard work and due democratic process, stressing that intimidation and threats are not viable means that give voice to peopleâ€™s aspiration as it is unnecessary and unhelpful.
IPOB had in a statement byÂ its
Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful,Â directed people of the South-east to sit at home on May 30 in remembrance of the Biafra struggle, victims of Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram violence and those who died in the hands of security agencies in Nigeria over the years.