The Leader of the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Shettima Yerima has said he is ready to submit himself for questioning should security agencies declare him wanted.
Yerima is chief speaker of the group, said this following the call for his arrest for issuing a notice to the Igbos to quit the 19 northern states.
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In an interview with Punch, Yerima denied reports that he is on the run, insisting he has nothing to fear.
“I did not go into hiding and will never go into hiding. We need to put the record straight.
“For now, nobody is looking for me and I am ready to submit myself if I am called. I am not a joker. Nobody is looking for me and I am not hiding anywhere from anybody. I am in my village, I am a Nigerian. If anybody looks for me, I will submit myself. I am not above the law. I am not on the run.”
He again maintained his stand that the Igbos should leave Nigeria.
“Why should I go into hiding? I have a name, I have a face. I am not faceless.
“I am not hiding anywhere. Why should I hide? Where did I go wrong? Somebody wants to go and I said, ‘go, you’re free to go’. What is wrong about it?
“You cannot be in our country and begin to clamour for another country. Go to your place and declare your own country, not in my zone. It is a simple language. I have not committed any offence,” Yerima added.
Sequel to the call for the arrest of the Arewa youths, Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai had said he would ensure the arrest of the Arewa youths for issuing such quit notice to Igbo in the North no matter how long it takes.
But a second Republic lawmaker and Northern elder statesman, Junaid Mohammed, had warned against any such move, stating that arresting the youths would be counter-productive as it would lead to a serious crisis in the region.
Mr. Junaid accused the Federal Government of demonstrating irresponsibility in its selective handling of the threats from the southern and northern regions of the country.
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“The threat to arrest the youth, in my opinion, is not only counter-productive but also inappropriate.
“This is because ideally, with the position of things, every Nigerian has the right to live and conduct their businesses in any part of the country.
“But the Federal Government left their toes behind when they allowed the IPOB, which is being financed by the Igbo political and business elites both in the country and in the Diaspora to be issuing statements freely.
“Therefore, any attempt to arrest Arewa youths will lead to problems. I am resident in Kano State and the last time the Kaduna State Government brought up the issue of arrest, there would have been violence if an attempt to arrest anybody by the police had been made”.