The Arewa Youths Consultative Forum has urged Igbo people in the North to ignore the directive of the Indigenous People of Biafra that they should leave the region, and called on the Federal Government to re-arrest Nnamdi Kanu.
The youths stated that having withdrawn their notice to quit issued to the Igbo living in the North after consultations with elders in the region, the South-East people had nothing to fear.
The group urged them to carry on with their daily activities without any fear.
The youths had on Thursday withdrawn their ultimatum directing the Igbo to leave the North by October 1.
But the IPOB leader, Kanu, maintained that the Igbo in the North should relocate to the South-East.
The Arewa youth leader, Yerima Shettima, told SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday that the decision to withdraw the October 1 ultimatum was taken after extensive consultations with various northern leaders.
He assured the Igbo living in the North that no violent action would be taken against them, stressing that northerners are not violent.
Shettima said, “There is no need for them (Igbo) to go anywhere. They can ignore IPOB; they are not even popular. We have a culture; we have a background and when we say something we stand by it. We are not like IPOB that talks from both sides of the mouth.
“Before we arrived at our decision, we consulted widely. Our people are not violent. We have leaders and when they speak, we obey them. It is part of our culture.”
He pointed out that the objective of the ultimatum was to unify the country and to prevent the clamour for secession from degenerating to a crisis point, noting that this had been achieved.
Shettima, however, stated that his group would insist on a referendum for the Igbo, adding that they were working with National Assembly members to make it a part of the constitution amendment.
The northern youth leader, however, called on Igbo political and traditional leaders to rein in Biafra agitators, stressing that IPOB members do not have the nation’s interest at heart.
“Our focus is to unify the country and for the nation to remain one. It is left for the political elite and the traditional rulers to get them to embrace peace. For us, we have demonstrated our patriotism to the country. But we still insist on the call for a referendum for the Igbo to leave the country; we are working on it. We want a referendum to be enshrined in the constitution.”
The youth leader endorsed the call for Kanu to be rearrested, noting that he has flouted his bail conditions and should be sent back to prison.