…urges them to be ‘on guard, prepare for any eventuality’
Board of Trustees of the apex Northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum, on Wednesday, warned Northerners to be on their guard to check moves by any group agitating for restructuring, a Biafra State, resource control and the Oduduwa Republic.
ACF BoT Chairman, Ambassador Shehu Malami, stated this while addressing the 2nd meeting of the board on Wednesday in Kaduna.
Malami said the Northerners needed to prepare themselves even if dialogue is preferred against any form of physical confrontation.
According to him, “We need to dwell on a serious note, the agitations for restructuring, the demand for a Biafra State by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), resource control by the South-South and Oduduwa Republic by some Yoruba Nationalist groups.
“While we do not harbour any fears for all these gimmicks, we must seriously be on our guard to stem any untoward moves from any group on our region.
“We need proper preparation even if the dialogue is preferred against any form of confrontation.
“It is for this reason that the ACF should take every reasonable step to interface with its counterparts- the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the South-South Peoples Conference, the Oduduwa and the Afenifere as proposed last week during the NEC meeting of the ACF.”
The ACF BoT chairman also noted with concern the dwindling economic fortunes regionally and nationally, urging Northern state governments to take decisive actions towards industrialising the region.
“Northern governors and persons of means should be in a position to establish banking and other financial institutions to facilitate growth and development,” he said.
Speaking on the worsening insecurity in the country, he said, “Despite efforts by the federal government to overcome the ravages of the Boko Haram insurgents mostly pronounced in the North-East geo-political zone and the resilience of the Armed Forces in fighting the odds, the so-called Fulani wanton killings and kidnapping, the herder-farmer face-off, and other insurgent groups masquerading as the Fulani or northerners as a whole, have all come to pose more security challenges facing the government and citizens.
“We owe a duty as ACF concerned with the security and welfare of our people, to critically examine the backgrounds and effects of these scourges militating against the enduring security, peace and harmony as a people and nation.”
Malami, however, appealed to Northern state governments to tap into available solid minerals and other resources, which abound in every state in the region, to change the fortunes of the North and the country at large, saying, “We are heavily endowed to feed not only Nigeria but most of the West and Central African Sub-regions.”