By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Nigerians of Igbo extraction have been asked to leave northern part of the country within the next three months or risk being forced out.
This threat was given yesterday by a coalition of Northern groups, including the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) and the Northern Emancipation Network.
At a press conference in Kaduna on Tuesday, the group said the Ndigbos were no longer welcomed in the 19 northern states and now have October 1, 2017 to quit the region.
The northern youths described the Igbos as threat to national unity, vowing to reclaim, assume and assert sole ownership and control of landed resources currently owned, rented or in any way enjoyed by the Igbo in any part of northern Nigeria after the October 1 deadline.
At the press conference, National President of the Northern Emancipation Network, Mr Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, who read the text of their resolution, stated that, “With the effective date of this declaration, which is today, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, all Igbo currently residing in any part of northern Nigeria are, hereby, served notice to relocate within three months and all northerners residing in the South-East are advised likewise.
“All northern civil societies and pressure groups are, by this declaration, mandated to mobilise for sustained, coordinated campaigns at their respective state Government Houses, state Houses of Assembly, local government council secretariats and traditional palaces.”
On his part, National President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Mr Yerima Shettima, warned that, “We are also telling our (northern) brothers out there in the South-East to get prepared to come back home and our threat should not be taken with levity.”
But the apex socio-political body of the Igbos, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has urged security operatives, especially the Department of State Services (DSS) and the police to arrest the coalition of northern groups for treason.
“The DSS, the police and other security agencies should take note of the statement by the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum and the other Northern groups for issuing this threat against the Igbo.
“It should not be seen as an empty threat; urgent action is needed to foil the plan to attack the Igbo in the North. It happened in the past and we don’t want it to happen again.
“In fact, Yerima Shettima should be arrested by the DSS immediately. We are watching to see what the DSS would do in this situation.
“Shettima’s statement is treasonable; he is inciting one section of the country against another section and we know from experience that this sort of thing could lead to a civil war. His utterances could destroy this country,” the Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr Chuks Ibegbu, told Punch when contacted.
Text of the press conference was signed by Nastura Ashir Sharif (Arewa Citizens Action for Change); Mr Shettima Yerima (Arewa Youth Consultative Forum); Mr Aminu Adam (Arewa Youth Development Foundation); Mr Alfred Solomon, (Arewa Students Forum); Mr Abdul-Azeez Suleiman (Northern Emancipation Network); and Mr Joshua Viashman, (Northern Youth Vanguard).
Violent Protest Erupts in Ibadan Over Naira Scarcity
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
There are reports of a violent protest in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, over the scarcity of old and new Naira notes, Business Post has gathered.
It was learned that residents of the ancient city are venting their anger over the hardship caused by the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the federal government.
The central bank redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and asked citizens to return their old banknotes because they would cease to be legal tender.
However, since the introduction of the new currency notes in circulation on December 15, 2022, many Nigerians have not been able to withdraw their money from banks, fuelling anger in the land.
On Friday afternoon, some residents of Ibadan, especially in Iwo Road, took to the streets to express their frustration at the development, which is coming at a time consumers have to queue for petrol.
They had bonfires on the road and disrupted business activities in some areas of the city.
Recall that today, the Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, announced the suspension of his campaign activities over the scarcity of Naira and fuel.
Also on Friday, the Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) met with President Muhammadu Buhari to appeal to him to change his mind on the Naira swap policy because of the effect on the people and the 2023 general elections starting later this month.
The President had earlier been asked not to show up in Kano State because of fears of a violent protest over the development. After the deadline was moved forward, the Governor of the state, Mr Abdullahi Ganduje, said he was safe to visit the ancient city.
However, during his visit to Kano, there were reports of a demonstration, with a chopped stoned by some residents of the state and convoys attacked by angry protesters.
The government claimed the protest was not directed at President Buhari, while the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said otherwise.
APC Governors Beg Buhari to Allow Use of Old, New Naira Notes
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to allow the use of old and Naira notes as legal tender in the country until the former is naturally mopped up from the circulation.
This appeal was made on Friday by Governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) during a meeting with Mr Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
In a brief chat with reporters after the meeting, the Governor of Kano State, Mr Abdullahi Ganduje, said after the request was made to the President, he promised to look into it.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last month redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes and said the old currency denominations would cease to be legal tender from January 31, 2023.
However, two days before the deadline, the Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, after a meeting with President Buhari in his hometown in Daura, Katsina State, said the deadline had been shifted to February 10, 2023, noting that Nigerians had a grace period of February 17, 2023, to return the old notes to the bank.
On Tuesday, January 31, he appeared before the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on the CBN policy to say Nigerians could still take their old notes to banks after the deadline, promising that citizens will not lose their funds.
Today, the APC Governors met with Mr Buhari to discuss the scarcity of Naira in the financial system and also the lingering fuel scarcity.
One of the Governors present at the gathering, Mr Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, had claimed this week that the scarcity of cash and petrol was the handiwork of some elements in the Villa, who do not want the party to succeed in the forthcoming elections.
“We spoke with the President to allow the old and new notes to co-exist until the old notes die a natural death,” Mr Ganduje told newsmen while walking out after the meeting.
“Sir, did you discuss the petrol scarcity with him,” one of the reporters asked the Kano Governor, and he responded, “Yes.”
Oyo Governor Suspends Campaign Activities Over Fuel, Naira Crisis
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Due to the unending fuel and new Naira notes crisis rocking the country, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has suspended his campaign activities.
Mr Makinde is seeking another term in office under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He commenced his campaign activities last month, asking residents of the state to give him another chance to serve them.
But the scarcity of premium petrol spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, and cash has put Nigerians under untold hardship.
Governor Makinde, during the flag-off of the Omi-Adio-Ido Road on Friday, said in solidarity with the people over anti-people economy policies of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government, he would be suspending his campaign.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Wasiu Olatubosun confirmed this.
In the statement, Mr Makinde, who was in Ido to continue his campaign, directed that all campaign activities be suspended until further notice.
Mr Olatubosun said Governor Makinde noted that the suffering of his people was too much, saying he was elected to protect their interests and well-being.
The Commissioner said his boss, in an emotionally laden voice, directed leaders of the party in Oyo State to suspend the campaign.
“As a mark of honour to citizens and residents of Oyo State, the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has directed that all campaign activities of the party at all levels be suspended until further notice,” the statement read.
“Governor Seyi Makinde’s love for his people necessitated this unprecedented move at this time. We urge all residents and citizens of the State to remain calm as we navigate through this difficult period together,” he added.
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