■No, they’re innocent Nigerians being persecuted – Yerima, Arewa youths leader
As the controversy rages over the movement of suspected Almajirai from the North to the South, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) have warned of possible attack in the South by the people, who, they alleged were not Almajirai, but suspected Boko Haram members.
In a statement, IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said his group openly rejected the efforts by the North to transport Almajirai to the south. According to him, “IPOB has also made it abundantly clear to all and sundry that these people being distributed to Southern states are not the ordinary Almajirai. There is more to the entire scenario than meets the eye.
“Take a proper look at them and you will agree with us that these people are not beggars like the ordinary Almajirai in the North. If you also look at their age brackets, you will find out it’s a blunder to describe them as Almajirai. They aren’t kids, but full grown youths and young men, and no women among them.
“These are terrorists being deployed to Southern states for a sinister operation. Our leader, Nnamdi Kanu has severally raised the alarm that the jihadists and their sponsors are planning to invade the South, but our people would not hear. Now it’s fulfilling before us all. Whoever tells you that these healthy -looking and agile youths are Almajirai is economical with the truth.
“They are terrorists coming for conquest. Those behind the evil agenda are trying to deceive the gullible minds by creating the impression that they are Almajirai being repatriated from the North. Now even if you are repatriating Almajirai from Kano or any Northern state, why will you send them to the South? Do we have any Almajiri of Southern origin?”
He accused security agencies of being complicit by providing cover for the alleged evil operation. In the same vein, the founder of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, said the Islamisation and invasion agenda of the North was what he foresaw years ago and one of the reasons he started Biafra, which he said are not surprises to him.
“The motive behind this was the same that Ojukwu and I saw, maybe you people are seeing it now. The motive is to Islamise Nigeria to make it Fulani dominated fiefdom, and that is what Ojukwu told me and that is why he started Biafra. They want to Islamise Nigeria; the entire South, the way they did in the North among the Hausa and also in Kwara. Why some people are noticing it now is because of the curfew arising from the COVID-19 pandemic; if there was no curfew they used to come in unchecked into the South.
“It is a planned deal for invasion of the South; they are not Almajirai, but trained Boko Haram members, I’m sure the arms for them to use are ready, and you will be very surprised at a given date, there will be sporadic shooting, and you can’t contain it with empty hands”, Uwazuruike said.
He further said that the five Southeast governors should know what to do, as they are the people benefitting from one Nigeria; encouraging one Nigeria. His words, “this type of thing has to be faced frontally, and the governors have the power and the money which they get from the treasury; they are the security chiefs in their states and working with the federal government because some of them want to be the president, some the vice president. The governors should give account of influx of these Almajirai in the Southeast and you may be surprised that they are the ones engineering it. How can they leave the North and cross all the borders to the Southeast without anybody engineering it.”
Reacting to the positions of IPOB and MASSOB, the President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Shettima Yerima, carpeted the two groups, as well as other Southern and Middle Belt groups, describing them as agents of destabilisation.
According to him, there is no ulterior motive behind the movement of some Northern youths to the south. “I was reading an online report, where Fani Kayode was saying it was a plan to islamise the country. It is not true. Most of these people coming from the North were already residing in the South, before COVID-19, most of them because of unfavourable policies by the Lagos State government and other parts of the south, some of them had to run back home; you know they do this exodus movement.
“When they left South, it didn’t occur to them that they were going to fall into trouble, where everybody is a victim, and so most of them had to earn a living; they had to work on daily basis to sustain their families, and they decided to come back to the South to continue with their normal activities to earn a living, and out of politics, some people were reading meaning into it.
“This will not augur well for us as a nation. If we continue to do this, it will encourage those who are anti Nigeria to disintegrate the country. Some of us strongly believe in Nigeria and the way it is and the way they are moving and doing all sorts of thing against the Northerners, if not that some of us were standing and saying, let us not behave the way Southerners are behaving, it would have been a different ball game.
“It is unfair to begin to stigmatise and call Northerners all sorts of names. The North cannot islamise the North, as it is today, not to talk of even islamising the South. Anybody saying that has a little problem with his sense of reasoning. Such thing should not be encouraged. So, there is no ulterior motive over the movement of these Northerners to the South, just to earn their living and so should be treated like other Nigerians. These people are not Almajirai, by the way, is it only the Almajirai that are carriers of corona virus, are there no people carrying the disease in the South?
“No government in any Northern part of the country has exported the Almajirai to the South; they are only moving them form one Northern state to their states of origin. Those returning to the south, they generalised them as Almajirai, and I hope one day when I come to the South, I will be referred to as Almajiri. “There is no law stopping people carrying food to other regions, even if there is war, but this is a pandemic that is affecting every part of Nigeria, but Rivers State governor, Wike impounded cows and auctioned them because Northerners brought them. “This is a man who is planning of becoming president or vice president, and with that attitude would he think that the North would support him. No, we will not.
While Northerners who live in the south are coming back, southerners who live in the North are also returning on daily basis in large numbers because the North is so loving and don’t politicise issues as the South will do.
“The Southern leaders, Middle belt leaders, the IPOB and MASSOB raising this fear of Islamisation and invasion are looking for a way to disintegrate this country; they are agents of destruction,” Yerima stressed.
Credit: The Sun