Northern Youths’ Demand: Policy Analyst Wants More From El-Rufai
Nigerians woke up on Tuesday to reports of what was dubbed “Kaduna Declaration”.
In the declaration, a coalition of Northern groups, including the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, gave Igbos resident in the 19 states of the North 90 days to quit or be forced out after the expiration of the October 1, 2017, deadline.
In what looked like a ready plan for “war”, they also asked Northerners in the South-East to leave the area.
The group warned that from October 1, which is Nigeria’s Independence Day, they will begin to implement ‘visible actions’ to prove they are no longer part of a federal union.
In a move to suppress this demand, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai, ordered the immediate arrest of all signatories to a statement that announced the Kaduna Declaration.
"The constitutional right of every Nigerian to own property, move freely and to live in peace and harmony is sacrosanct,” the Governor seemed to have said.
A statement by Governor El-Rufai indicated the government’s avowed stand of non-accommodation of this type of rascals.
The governor also assured residents in the state of “their freedom to reside where they choose”.
But a policy analyst, Dr. Boniface Chizea, thinks more should be done.
He is confident that the Governor’s decision is a first step in the right direction to dowse the temperature of sectoral and ethnic hatred.
Dr. Chizea, however, stressed that "what is more important is the diligence and seriousness with which it executes the order".
He said: “If the youths involved are made to face the full wrath of the law with appropriate consequences; then the dangerous snake unleashed on the polity by the northern youths must have been scorched on the head and would-be future miscreants fully placed on notice.
“And as has been duly observed, this provides a warning scenario to inform the strategic posturing of other ethnic nationalities as we continue to contemplate the national question”.
The Kaduna Declaration is coming at a time that the agitation for Biafra is gaining momentum, with one of the separatist groups, the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), issuing a threat that it will scuttle electoral process in the region by 2019 if they are not offered a referendum.
At an event to mark the 50th year anniversary of the Biafra Declaration, Nigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo highlighted the need for Nigerians to fully exercise the right to discuss or debate the terms of citizens’ existence in the nation.