The Arewa Coalition for Peace and Unity (ACPU) has chastised socio-cultural groups Ohaneze Ndi’Igbo and Afenifere for “demonizing the blood of innocent citizens allegedly killed by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
The Coalition argued that both groups, previously known for their stern intolerance of the radical Islamic sect, suddenly turned sympathizers following the designation as a terrorist group.
In separate statements, the Afenifere and Ohanaeze attempted to discredit the proscription describing it as “unlawful”.
In a press conference delivered by President Dr. Usman Ikani on Tuesday in Kaduna, the Arewa group, however, warned the bodies to desist from mocking the north’s experience in the hands of Boko Haram with their or ultimately face the consequences.
The ACPU further urged the security agencies to rise to the occasion, arrest and prosecute those giving cover for terrorists to operate on the streets in accordance with the law.
Read full statement below:
Gentlemen of the press, we are outraged after witnessing a disrespectful show put up by socio-cultural groups, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo and Afenifere, both of which demonstrated total insensitivity to the security situation in the north by fusing with the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
Right thinking persons would have expected that any organization that engaged in such despicable act would hide their faces in shame, but perhaps driven by lack of awareness about the gravity of what they have done, went ahead to publicise video and multimedia of their indiscretion. The video they shared had them chanting about how they will shed their blood and lay down their lives for IMN leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Such choice of words removed all doubts that rather than acting in solidarity or sympathy, the Afenifere and Ohaneze members that joined the so called protest are closet terrorists who could no longer resist the urge to join IMN’s bloodletting spree that made the Federal Government of Nigeria to declare it a terrorist organization.
When a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the proscription of IMN, it made it clear that its members are not to hide under any other name or another identity to carry out the activities that have been proscribed by the court. The lie that it was Ohaneze and Afenifere that were protesting have been exposed because known IMN members were among the protesters whole the inciting and hate speeches read during the protest came right out of IMN manuals.
These actions are highly provocative. They are insensitive. The action of the Afenifere and Ohaneze is a direct mockery of the north’s experience in the hands of Boko Haram. They have concluded that IMN is a northern plague that can only affect the north so they believe in helping a terrorist organization to gain ground for reasons we are yet to fathom.
If IMN were operating in the south west and south east both organizations would have had a different thought and call on the world to deal with it as a terrorist group. To therefore give the group backing at a time Nigeria is healing from Boko Haram Terrorism is insulting to the extent that it appears as if they are wishing death to the people of the north. So these organizations hate us this much in the north?
We do not pray for any region to witness what the north has gone through in the hands of Boko Haram and we will not pray for the south to witness the uprising of any terrorist group in the future, including the terrorist IMN. Why then are Ohaneze and Afenifere wishing IMN’s terrorism on us?
For those that have converted themselves into children of anger and have allowed the hatred of President Muhammadu Buhari to corrode their conscience and blind them to reason, we beg them that their hatred for the Buhari presidency should not drive them to the extent where they promote acts of terrorism in the country by blindly support the evil that El- Zakzakky group has unleashed on the north for many years now.
We also want to ask compatriots that have allowed themselves to be misled if it is acceptable in Igboland or Yorubaland to kill people, kill police, kill journalists and innocent bystanders.Has the human blood being shed by IMN in the north become a glorious venture that the Igbos or Yorubas would want to invest in?
Arewa Action for Peace hereby demands that all these contractors that are rubbishing their ethnic identities should stop their destructive activities forthwith or our youths will be compelled to take legitimate actions in pursuit of saving our beloved north from the ascendancy of another terrorist group. These characters are welcome to offer refuge to IMN terrorists provided they will not come crying to the north when their guests start showing their true colour as murderous arsonists.
We in the north have never supported kidnappings in the south but out of hate these guys are mocking the north knowing well that IMN is a terror Group.
We urge the security agencies to note that the court order proscribing IMN as a terrorist organization is being systematically circumvented by Ohaneze and Afenifere with all the security risk posed to the country.
We demand that those that are giving cover for terrorists to operate on our streets in the north be promptly arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law. This is expedient to put a stop to a situation where a group that has been designated a terrorist organization easily mutates into another identity.