In a strange turn around, the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum has urged Igbo people in the north to stay and assured them of safety. The youths also asked Igbos to ignore the directive of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) that they should leave the region.
Calling on the federal government to arrest Nnamdi Kanu, they stated that they had withdrawn their notice to quit issued to the Igbo living in the North after consultations with elders in the region.
According to Punch, Arewa youth leader, Yerima Shettima, said that after extensive consultations, they made the decision to withdraw the October 1 ultimatum.
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.”
Shettima also 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.
“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,”he said.
The CNYG’s decision to withdraw the quit notice followed series of meetings with numerous stakeholders.