The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), has sounded a word of warning to a political leader of the South West who has been engineering violence and arson in order to further his 2023 ambition and vowed to expose him if the killings is allowed to happen again.
The group explained that its independent investigation has revealed “One South West politician and his associates, who have been fanning the embers of ethnic and regional hatred as well as igniting mindless and senseless violence, especially in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital”, stressing that “his dirty political game is up if he fails to desist.”
The AYCF, in the statement signed by its national president, Alhaji Yerima Shettima said the group condemns in totality the violence, killings and arson in Ibadan but explained that it was improper to punish the innocent majority because of the sins of a few criminals.
The statement reads in part: “Much as we condemn all crimes and criminals themselves, we cannot fathom why the action of a few criminals should be used to justify any form of physical attack on majority innocent citizens and their assets in any part of this country”.
Talking about the suspected South West politician, which the group fingered as the arrowhead of the recent spate of senseless ethnic profiling and physical attack, the AYCF said: “All Nigerians are living witnesses to the role of the Northern political elite in stabilizing the nation, using the democratic system of supporting the emergence of presidents outside the North. Our philosophy of self-denial does not mean, we are not aware of our political strength.
“When the South West cried of marginalization over the annulment of June 12 polls, which the late MKO Abiola was said to have won fair and square, the North rallied behind the South West, by giving their massive votes to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 and he served for 8 years.
“The emergence of another president from the North, the late Umaru Musa Yaradua was short-lived but the northern civil society organizations (CSOs) joined hands with southern progressives to form the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) that helped paved the way for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan from the South to continue as the nation’s leader.
“So, the North’s large heart in giving its total support for the emergence of political leadership outside the North should not be mistaken for weakness. We cannot be stampeded into surrendering power just because of one man’s blackmail to fuel his 2023 political ambition.
“The North is never such a weakling and let it be known that northerners did their best in supporting the emergence of presidents from outside the region not because of political blackmail of ethno-regional profiling”, the group noted.
The group also revealed its demand from the governors of the South West, notably the governor of Oyo state, Seyi Makinde, to ensure that compensation is paid to the families of those killed and the survivors of the violent attacks.
In a related development, the Arewa Youth Patriotic Forum (AYPF) has called states and federal governments to squarely address the killings of northerners in South West to avoid more crises in the country.
Addressing a press conference, the national coordinator, Yahaya Salisu, and national secretary, Simon Tena, called on government to set up panel to look for a way to compensate those who lost property and strengthen peace by decisively punishing perpetrators