Youths in Southern Nigeria have warned the federal government to desist from harassing and intimidating credible youth leaders of the region but concentrate fully in securing the country from insurgents.
According to them, southern youth leaders like the leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Alhaji Asari Dokubo and Chief Sunday Igboho are merely freedom fighters who should not be harassed or intimidated, saying that the Muhammadu Buhari-led government should rather dialogue with them.
Arising from a two-day meeting held on Saturday in Umuahia, the youths, who met under the aegis of Southern Nigeria Youth Assembly (SNYA) described Kanu, Dokubo and Igboho as patriotic citizens, adding that any attempt to arrest or killed them will lead to a monumental breakdown of law and order.
In a communiqué they issued in Umuahia after their meeting, the SNYA warned that it will no longer be business as usual over the activities of herders, under-development and unfair security treatment of the region.
The SNYA, communiqué signed by its chairman Comrade Alhassan Abidemi and the Secretary, Ukor Brown Ukor asked the federal government to stop forthwith its nepotistic tendencies and governed the country based on the federal character principle. The SNYA, the group said in the communiqué, draws its members from the 17 states of the southern Nigeria.
Their word, “All criminal herders must vacate our lands and return to wherever they coming from because their acts are alien to the entire region. Our peace is sacrosanct and we are not ready to shortchange it for anything else.
“We cannot allow the region to degenerate into oblivion. The federal government must desist from intimidating good spirited agitators like Alh Asari, Ugboho, Kanu and others who are going about their legitimate businesses and asking questions on behalf of the region.
“Any further intimidation may degenerate to a breakdown of law and order which is the last thing the region or authority needs”, the group warned.
“We appreciate the little effort by the federal government, led by Buhari in developing the region. However, we still insist that much is yet to be done, considering that this region is the life-line of Nigeria’s economy.
“It is worthy of note that we stand with Nigeria in her unity in diversity, but will not shy away from calling/agitating for her (Nigeria) division if these very simple demands are not given the needed attention”.
Earlier in his opening address, the eader of Southern Nigeria Youth Assembly, Comrade Chinedu Temple Chika explained that the meeting was necessitated by the current security challenges in the country, contending that the body cannot sit idly by while the country goes up in flames.
Delegates from Lagos, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Edo, Delta, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Enugu and Ebony State including the host, state Abia attended the meeting. (Daily Independent)