BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna
Apex northern sociocultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has decried the increasing attacks on/killing of northerners resident and or visiting the South, particularly the South East.
The forum also said it was so bad at a point in February this year that the northern traders who normally supply the food needs of the South, the Amalgamated Union Food and Cattle Distributors of Nigeria (AUFCDN) embarked on strike to make the point that their lives also mattered.
The ACF said it was among those who put pressure, on, and ultimately convinced AUFCDN to call off the strike and that it did that in the spirit of ONE NIGERIA.
ACF said, “Yesterday, Sunday 30th May, 2021, one of the leaders in the North was brutally murdered on the street of Owerri, Imo State by gunmen, most likely of IPOB and Eastern Security Network (ESN), who have been waging a public campaign of killings and other forms of brutalities to realise their dream country of Biafra.
In a statement issued by Chief Audu Ogbe, the national chairman of ACF, he said, “The ACF hereby issues a very strong advisory to all northerners who may wish to travel to the South East. Northerners to weigh the importance and necessity of such travels. Unless such trips are absolutely necessary and of compelling nature, like matters of life and death, they should not be made. And where the trip must be undertaken, the traveller should take every security precaution in his or her movements while there, including linking with the security agencies at the place/places to be visited.”
ACF said the need to issue this travel advisory became necessary against the backdrop of history, wherein events such as the killings of northern leaders in 1966 triggered the events that led to a civil war that cost the country thousands of lives, and an untold suffering to millions of innocent people. “To be forewarned is to be forearmed, and a stich in time saves nine!” the group stressed.
ACF also called with the strongest voice on the security agencies to do everything possible to apprehend those who assassinated Alh.aji Ahmed Gulak in cold blood and bring them to justice.
It said the lives of northerners, and indeed of all Nigerians matter, adding that “the ACF cannot keep mute when her people, and indeed all Nigerian, are murdered in cold blood by misguided and atrocious people.”