Shettima Yerima, the President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) following the backing of the rejection of quit notice issued to the Igbos in the North has also urged relevant authorities not to overlook anyone who violates the suspension.
In a recent interview with Sun News, he said the quit order belongs to the past as the objective has been achieved by Arewa youth.
Reacting to the rejection of the withdrawal of the quit notice
How is that my problem? Did I do it for him or in the interest of the country? His rejection of the suspension of the quit notice is not important to me. What we did was to demonstrate that we have a culture. We give respect to our elders and it was to ensure that the country remains together. The country is above anybody. On that basis, his acceptance or not is not important but I know that he also is not speaking for the Igbo. It is a minority view of few people making all sorts of noise. It is not really important to me and I do not want to join issues with them. Nigeria is above everybody and I stand on the path of one united country. We have to build a nation that we can call our own.”
When asked about some other Northern Youth would who have ignored the withdrawal
Nobody would do anything. Anybody who does anything, we make sure that the authorities arrest the person. We are in charge. Nobody should be scared of anything. Our youths are reasonable; they are known to respect one another; we listen to our leaders unlike some other parts of the country. But having said that, you can be rest assured that there is no cause for alarm. So, let Nigerians be rest assured that nothing would befall anybody by God’s grace and we are working towards that and we would give the government the maximum support. Our brothers across board, we would make sure that no evil would befall them. That is the position of things.”
When asked about his your position to the allegation that the North is resisting restructuring because her people had been the greatest beneficiaries of the present contentious structure of Nigeria, he said,
What is the North benefitting? The poverty, backwardness or the system that has marginalized the generality of our people? Certainly, we are not benefitting from what is going on in the country. We are also saying that if the country is not safe, there would not be anything to share.”
On Igbo people
A lot of my friends are Igbo people. I have nothing against the Igbo. It did not end there, let me also demonstrate that to you; my first wife is from Calabar, the old South Eastern region. We have two kids. I have a good relationship with the Igbo. I have attended an event organized in memory of Odumegwu Ojukwu in Owerri under the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) led by Ralph Uwazuruike.
For the past five years, I have been going to Owerri. How best would I describe my relationship with the Igbo? During my school days in Lagos State University, Igbo people are my best friends.
I am not against the Igbo but I am against any tribe that abuses the sensibilities of my leaders. And this is what prompted the action but thank God, it has come to an end. I still maintain my relationship with my Igbo brothers.
All the ethnic groups in this country, I want to appeal to them, let us come together and build a nation of our own. We should know that all of us are being marginalized and what we should do is to come together and build the nation we can call our own. We are all human beings and we are bound to make things right or wrong.
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