OCTOBER 1 QUIT NOTICE TO IGBO: Security beefed up in Sokoto, Kaduna, others
Despite assurances by northern youths that they would not attack Igbos resident in northern states tomorrow, state governments have beefed up security across the region.
Northern youth groups under the auspices of Arewa Youths Coalition had, on June 6, given Igbos resident in the North an October 1 deadline to leave for the South East over the agitation for Biafra.
The ultimatum was withdrawn on August 24 following national outcry and intervention of governors of northern states.
In state capitals, particularly in the North West, it was observed on Friday that government was not leaving anything to chances on security of lives and property.
In Sokoto and Zamfara, it was confirmed that security was beefed up on the orders of the governors of the states, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwwal and Alhaji Abdulazeez Yari, respectively.
Speaking to Saturday Tribune in separate interviews, Imam Imam, the media aide of the Sokoto State governor and Ibrahim Dosara, his counterpart in Zamfara State, confirmed that the police and other security agencies had been told to be on the alert.
It was learnt that the heightened security was essentially to forestall any breakdown of law and order against the background of the possibility of hoodlums taking advantage of the original threat against Igbos to cause mayhem.
The withdrawal of the quit notice by the northern youths means that their ultimatum is no longer tenable and therefore Igbos have their nod to continue to stay in that region without let or hindrance.
But the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Mr Agyole Abeh, in an interview, stated that the police and other security agencies would not take security of lives and property for granted.
“We have deployed our officers in strategic areas ahead of October 1 in order to avoid a situation where area boys and other hoodlums would take advantage of the situation and vandalise the property of Igbos,” Abeh said.
The commissioner assured residents of the state of the readiness of the police to secure their lives and property.
In the same spirit, the state government has obtained an arrest warrant against Arewa youths.
Speaking with Saturday Tribune, Mr Samuel Aruwan, spokesman of the state governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, maintained that the warrant was necessary since the original declaration by the Arewa youths against Igbos was made in Kaduna.
Aruwan said the government remained committed to ensuring the safety of everyone living in the state, irrespective of tribe or religion.
However, when contacted for reaction to the arrest warrant obtained by the Kaduna State government, the leader of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF), Yerima Shettima said he had no comment.
But he called on the youth across the 19 northern states to avoid any activity capable of causing breach of the peace on October 1.
“We are in peace mood. We are ready to ensure that the country is peaceful. Don’t attack any tribe, please. Let’s continue to live in peace.