Sunday, 22 May 2016
Northern group tells FG: 'It's time to treat pro-Biafra groups, Niger Delta militants like Boko Haram'
The Coalition of Northern Nigerian organisations under the auspices of Northern Consensus Movement has called on the federal government to treat violent groups, especially in the South East like the terror sect Boko Haram.
The movement at a press conference in Kaduna yesterday said, “All groups including separatist elements that use violence as an instrument of expression of grievance, such as, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) should be given same treatment as Boko Haram.
The movement comprises Arewa Liberation Movement, United Arewa Youth Organisation, Miyyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Northern People Unity and Reconciliation Union, Amalgamated Northern Youth for North Central, Northern Youth Assembly, Salvage Nigeria Forum, among others.
Leader of the movement, Comrade Jibrila Gadzama said it was unfortunate that the North and its people remained unappreciated even when that part of the country accommodated a vast number of Nigerians from other geo-political zones.
“The North contributed immensely to Nigeria’s foreign reserve earnings through agriculture even before the discovery of petroleum in Nigeria. Our groundnut pyramid era shouldn’t be forgotten so soon,” he said.
“Regrettably, despite the critical role played by the North and Northerners, we have observed growing tendencies of attacks on our brothers living in the South-eastern part of the country by Southerners with virulent separatist sentiments.
“Since the last general elections, hundreds of innocent law abiding citizens of northern extraction living in the South-eastern part have been killed in cold blood, with their businesses and property destroyed.
“This madness cannot be allowed to continue. We therefore demand that full inquiries be conducted into the incidents of aggression against northern citizens residing in the south-east and the perpetrators be brought to justice. And that all lives and property lost be compensated in the appropriate and adequate manner.
“That adequate protection is given to neighbourhoods, places of worship and businesses of northerners in the south east. It is necessary for all Nigerians to live with one another as a pre-requisite to nation building. This must be done in a spirit of respect and brotherliness. We cannot continue to watch innocent people killed, maimed and brutalized for no reason other than being Northerners.”