The Federal Government has explained its failure to arrest the Arewa Youth Coalition members who issued a quit notice to Igbos living in the North sometime in May. The Government also revealed why it was yet to arrest Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) leader despite his violation of bail conditions.
Concerning the Arewa Youth, Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, said the coalition explained that it was misquoted by the media, and never at any time made inciting comments against Igbos living in the North.
Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau
He said; “The group that called themselves coalition of Arewa Associations that held a press conference in Kaduna where they gave October 1 ultimatum to the Igbos to quit the north as a response to what they termed as issue of separatist agenda of the IPOB and claim that there were cases of incitement from the Igbos against the northerners to which the Kaduna State governor responded that they should be arrested for what they reported.
“Of course they later claimed that the media quoted them out of context. I am very much aware that the DSS invited all of them, held a meeting with them to which they made a statement to the effect that what was reported in the media was not what they said.
“They further wrote to the acting President indicating that they did not make inciting statement as to the issue of violence or forceful ejection of the Igbos in the north. However, it was on the basis of that, the northern elders called them to also reaffirm from them that what was reported was not exactly what they meant.
“Secondly, it is on this basis that I am answering the question, but it is something that the Kaduna State government is handling since that is where it happened. I want to think that it was on that basis that the arrest was not made.
“Again, there have been several efforts to dialogue between the northern youths and the Igbo youths. Several of such meetings have been held including the reported one that (ended in a) stalemate about one week ago but my understanding is that these various groups are sitting down among themselves to reach an understanding.
“More importantly, government gave assurance when the Acting President met with leadership from various parts of the country that nothing is going to happen to any person. Government has assured that everybody should stay and continue with their normal businesses”.
On the IPOB leader, Dambazau said Kanu had violated his bail conditions, but the Federal Government was powerless to arrest him, until the court that gave him bail conditions, declared he was in violation of same.
“The other issue is that, yes, Nnamdi Kanu has violated his bail conditions but it is not time yet for him to go back to the court for trial. We have this assumption but I think it is left for the court that gave those conditions to determine whether those conditions were violated or not.
“If those conditions were violated, the court knows what to do. We cannot assume that those conditions are being violated. Yes, the public knows but the determination of the extent of violation will be left for the court.
“It is not like the police will go after Kanu to arrest him on the grounds that he violated the bail conditions. Kanu will have a day in court and the court will determine his fate because it is the court that gave those conditions”, he explained.