The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum have thrown their weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari, saying those agitating for Nigeria’s disintegration should be decisively dealt with.
National President of the AYCF, Yerima Shettima, stated this, backing Buhari’s decision to deal with agitators such as Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba nation agitator.
Buhari had issued the threat during his speech to mark Nigeria’s 61st Independence Day anniversary.
The President vowed to go after violent agitators such as Kanu and Igboho, accused of threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria.
Shettima in an interview with Daily Post said those whose agitations were endangering the lives of Nigerians should be dealt with in line with Buhari’s directive.
He described Kanu as a blind man who is leading IPOB into a death trap.
Faulting the violent approach of IPOB, Shettima pointed out that the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, go about their agitation peacefully without endangering the lives of Nigerians.
He said, “All of us are victims of the society today in one way or the other, so if, something goes wrong, you don’t have to behave abnormal. When you look at the situation on ground and think the only way out is to become violent at the expense of people’s lives, then such agitation is not worth it.
“Yes, certain things went wrong and we also, in Northern part of the country have suffered the same problem. In fact, we have even suffered more than where the agitation is coming from.
“Can the situation today in the Northwest or Northeast be compared to the realities in the Southwest and Southeast? The answer is no. For over two decades now, we have been suffering from one trouble to another. From poverty to marginalization to deprivation and so on. Even at that, we never deemed it necessary to take up arms against the state; so, no matter how you look at it, their approaches are wrong.
“Don’t we have other groups agitating, like MASSOB? Do you see MASSOB endangering the lives of innocent citizens of the Southeast? The answer is no. Was it not from MASSOB IPOB broke out and is led by that blind man who puts the lives of people in danger? MASSOB goes about their demands which are very genuine by their thinking and feeling.”
Shettima also said, “MASSOB has said it really believes that the South-East is being marginalized and if Nigeria can address some of this injustice meted on them, they are willing to come back and build the nation. However, the IPOB’s approach by this their blind leader who is leading them to death zone is wrong, and two wrongs can not make a right.
“Looking at this situation, you can’t solve problems with problems. We have faith in the country despite the shortcomings. We believe some days we will turn things around instead of balkanizing the country in the name of agitation. Most of those agitators are young elements who should come together and build a synergy within themselves that would fight against those oppressing them.”
“Anybody found disobeying the law of the land should be dealt with decisively; nobody is above the law. If you balkanize the country, where will you go to? You can’t be an American citizen, you will still remain a Nigerian. If you balkanize here, where will you run to? You are a refugee anywhere you run to.”
According to him, many people suffered during the war. “We can’t go back there again. If there is a way we can amend what happened in the past to ensure that the war never happened, we would have done that. It has happened and all we need now is to forgive ourselves and move forward. We can’t continue to reflect on that and expect to make progress.
“Everybody suffered for that, so is that where they want us to return to now that there is arms proliferation? We can’t survive a second war, so Nigerians must learn to stay together. We can agitate without endangering the life of anybody.”
Shettima said, “The statement coming from the President shows he is a leader and people should know that we are not in Banana Republic. I’m not an advocate of the president, neither am I in the government but a victim of the society and I lead a group of people who are already victims.”
Lai Mohammed insists no proof protesters were killed at Lekki tollgate
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said there is no proof that any protester was killed at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos in October 2020 during the #EndSARS protest.
Some soldiers on October 20, 2020 were said to have opened fire on protesters in an attempt to disperse them allegedly leading to the death of many.
Mohammed, who addressed a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, described the 2020 event at the tollgate as a “phantom massacre”.
“Today marks the first anniversary of the phantom massacre at Lekki tollgate in Lagos, which was the culmination of an otherwise peaceful protest that was later hijacked by hoodlums,” the minister said.
The minister also said, “At earlier press conferences, I had called the reported massacre at the tollgate the first massacre in the world without blood or bodies.
“One year later, and despite ample opportunities for the families of those allegedly killed and those alleging a massacre to present evidence, there has been none: No bodies, no families, no convincing evidence, nothing. Where are the families of those who were reportedly killed at the toll gate? Did they show up at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry? If not, why?”
Adebanjo leads Afenifere chieftains on visit to Tinubu
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has led other chieftains of the body on a visit to national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at his home in Lagos.
Others on the visit are Chief Supo Sonibare, Oba Olaitan Oladipo, and retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Tunji Alapini.
The visit came a few days after Tinubu returned from a medical trip to the United Kingdom where he underwent knee surgery.
The Punch reported that the last time Tinubu and Adebanjo met was in April when the former Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, died.
Prior to the visit, Adebanjo had told PUNCH Online interview programme, The Roundtable, that the reason why Tinubu had been silent on the herdsmen crisis was that he felt President Muhammadu Buhari would make him his successor.
In another interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, Adebanjo stated that Buhari won’t hand over power to Tinubu, adding that they were both deceiving each other.
He said, “I have said it openly before and I would say it again that Buhari is deceiving Tinubu and Tinubu is deceiving Buhari. I’m an old man and I’m a funeral candidate already, so quote me. If Tinubu contests the primary in APC today, he will fail.”
Adebanjo then advised Tinubu and other APC members from the South-West to leave the party in the interest of Yorubaland.
He said, “I have always told them, from Tinubu downwards, that it’s better they save themselves speedily. I’m talking to all of them, that in the interest of Yorubaland and the country, they should get out of the carcass they call APC. I made a public pronouncement that they were a conglomeration of incompatibles. It’s on record. I said it then and I’m still saying it now; if they don’t save themselves early enough, then they are ready for a disaster.”
Kaduna gives civil servants 12-day ultimatum on COVID vaccine
The Kaduna State Government has given all civil servants in the state 12 days to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or be barred from office.
The ultimatum was announced in a statement issued on Tuesday by Muyiwa Adekeye, spokesman for the state governor, Nasir el-Rufai.
According to him, all civil servants are expected to be vaccinated by October 31, after which they would be denied entry into government offices if they failed to comply with the directive.
“The Kaduna State Government will from 31st October 2021 require compliance with COVID-19 protocols, especially facemasks and vaccination, for access to its offices,” the statement said.
“The Ministry of Health has since commenced the vaccination of all civil servants, and this is expected to be completed by 31st October 2021. All civil servants are required to be vaccinated by that date.
“Visitors to government offices will need to present their vaccination cards. Given the limited supply of vaccines that are currently available, visitors that have not yet been vaccinated will, in the interim, be permitted entry upon presentation of evidence of registration with the state Ministry of Health for the purpose of vaccination, while wearing their facemasks.”
Adekeye said the decision was taken following a review by the Kaduna COVID-19 task force, and urged residents to ensure strict adherence to the protocol for preventing the spread of infections.
According to the statement, Amina Mohammed-Baloni, Kaduna commissioner for health, has also asked residents to register at the nearest primary health centres for vaccination “so that the relevant authorities can easily contact them as more Covid-19 vaccines become available”.
The development comes weeks after Edo began its ‘no vaccination, no entry’ campaign, which bars unvaccinated civil servants from entering government offices.
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