The Arewa Youth Forum, AYF, has noted that the forum refused to be provoked with the plan by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu to plunge Nigeria into war.
A statement by the group made available to newsmen in Kaduna entitled, “South East time for reason to prevail,” noted that the IPOB boss does not have the interest of Igbos at heart as his actions were endangering their lives and property outside the confines of the South East.
The statement signed by Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, National President of AYF noted that they are working to curtail any reprisals in the north, “Following the rising tension in the South East and North in particular because of the sad news of the destruction of human lives and property in Abia and Rivers state by IPOB members allegedly targeted at Hausa/Fulani and Northerners in that part of the country.”
The statement said, “We wish to call on our people in the North and all over the country to show high level of maturity, intelligence and patriotism, and avoid been provoked to behave in the same manner like the aggressors who have ulterior motive of throwing the whole country into chaos. Let us be different and show that we are a people that are peace loving and hospitable to those among us.
“As a group of youths devoted to the prosperity of Nigeria as an indivisible entity, we refused to be provoked by a semi illiterate loser from London, who found his way back to Nigeria and conned his gullible people into accepting him as their so called freedom fighter and hero and even Messiah to many.
“Nnamdi Kanu and the vast majority of his senseless gullible followers were not born when Nigeria fought the civil war to keep us all as one. Millions lost their lives. These ill informed persons do not know the misery, death and destruction that war brings. It is therefore too easy for them to beat the drums of war.
“Let it be known that as the umbrella organization of all youths in the north, we are working to see that there is no reprisal anywhere in the north to the wicked and senseless activities of IPOB terrorists who are oblivious of the fact that if reprisal attacks were to happen in the North, our Igbo brothers and sisters living in the region will sustain far worse losses than anybody else.
“However, we are not unaware of the fact that the sanctity of the lives of Nigerians and that of Igbo in the North in particular and anywhere in the country and the security of their properties have never been Nnamdi Kanu’s concerns! The man is busy basking in the delusion that he will one day be the head of state of a nation that he is fighting to install and the wellbeing of the people is never his concern.
“It is very important to alert well meaning Nigerians that we must not allow ourselves to be used as pawns to achieve an agenda of balkanizing Nigeria. We are committed to the oneness of the country an believe that the country is better off as one indissoluble country.
“We must therefore avoid reprisals, and remain calm and law abiding at all times not to play into the hands of the secessionist foot soldiers. We are committed to make sure all Nigerians happy and safe anywhere in the country and in the north in particular
“Going forward we want to align with our Northern leaders and Northern Governors that the north is totally committed to the unity of the country and the oneness of Nigeria is not negotiable. Let us be wise and ignore the merchants of war.”