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Afenifere, the apex Yoruba Socio-Cultural Organisation, has called on all Southerners, especially the Yorubas resident in the North, to start returning home, because the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, is arming the Northerners, ahead of the October 1 deadline.
The call came on the heels of the October 1 ultimatum, issued by the Arewa Youths Forum to the People of South-East origin living in the Northern parts of Nigeria, to vacate the region or face massacre.
Senator Femi Okurounmu, an Afenifere chieftain who was present at the meeting, told Saturday Sun, that the quit notice by the Arewa youths should be not be taken lightly, based on historical experience.
He said: “This quit notice by the Northern youths should not be seen by any wise Southerner as being meant for only people from the South-East, or that it is an empty threat. These Northern youths meant business, and not only that, they have the backing of the Northern elders, who have not only expressed their support for the youths, but have also affirmed their backing for the quit notice given to the South-Easterners.
“These Northerners should not be underrated, and one of the major reasons we are insisting that all Southerners should start coming back to the South now, is that when these attacks on them begin, the Northerners will attack all Southerners. How are they going to separate a Yoruba from Igbo? It is going to be difficult. Southerners should not be gullible. They should start coming home now. They should not wait until the end of the ultimatum. We do not want a repeat of 1966-1967 pogrom, when hundreds of people of Southern origin, especially those from the South-East were massacred in the North.’’
Okurounmu added: ‘‘Have these Arewa youths not been walking the streets free since the Inspector-General of Police and Governor El-Rufai ordered their arrest? The IG is a hypocrite. When crisis broke out in Osun State recently among some Hausa and Yoruba youths, is it not this same IG that immediately under 24 hours of the crisis sent Mobile Policemen to arrest Yoruba youths, while he left out his Hausa kinsmen?
Why is the IG now unable to arrest these Hausa-Fulani youths who issued the quit notice? We are just deceiving ourselves; there is no justice in Nigeria. When an Hausa-Fulani man kills another Nigerian, he has not committed an offence, but when another Nigerian kills Hausa-Fulani man, he has committed an offence, and must be punished. That is the Nigeria of today for you.’’
“However, if Nigeria wants to break-up, so be it, let it break-up, if it wants to break-up. Nigeria will not be the first country to break-up. The defunct Soviet Union broke-up, heavens did not fall, defunct Czechoslovakia broke-up, heavens did not fall, and even in Africa, recently Southern Sudan broke away from Sudan, and heavens did not fall. So, what is the big deal if Nigeria breaks-up? It is not compulsory that Nigerians should live together by force’’, he said.