“We’ve strong suspicions over Almajirai invasion” – Southern, Middle Belt leaders raise alarm

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Southern and Middle Belt Forum (SMBF) leaders have expressed grave concern about the alleged invasion of their regions by Almajirai from the North.

The leaders made their stance known in a Sunday statement signed by Chief Edwin Clark (PANDEF), Chief Olu Adebanjo (Afenifere), Chief John Nnia Nwodo (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), and Dr. Bitrus Porgu (Middle Belt Congress).

According to them, the security agencies appeared complicit in the “invasion” of the South and Middle Belt by teenagers from the far Northern Nigeria hidden in containers and trailers in spite of ban on interstate travel by the president and many state governors.

The SMBF leaders said they would not fold their arms and allow some “visitors” to infest their regions with COVID-19 or pose a security challenge to their people.

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“This ominous development is coming after Boko Haram threatened openly three weeks ago that they were going to take their battle against Nigeria to the South-East and South-South.

“Very worrisome in this development is the quietness of the National Security organizations, the National COVID-19 Committee and the Presidency since this story broke out.

“This development has brought about very strong suspicions among our people regarding the aim of the deployment of these young men. Their capacity to escape all border security checks until they reach many states in the South and Middle Belt points to a strong collaboration.

“God forbid that the Boko Haram threat is being surreptitiously executed. We will certainly not fold our arms and allow massive influx of youths who have no reason to flout extant laws on interstate movements, no pressing national engagement in our areas, no verifiable occupation, no tests for COVID-19 and no prearranged accommodation, to come and forcibly occupy our forests and perhaps prosecute the threat of Boko Haram.

“The silence of the Federal Government in this situation is ominous. The maneuvers appear deliberately planned and provocative. We will resist any threats to the security of our lives and property with every amount of self-help available to us.

“To avoid further descent into an uncontrollable situation, we call on the Federal Government to publicly declare this invasion illegal, direct our national security organizations to flush them out now and ensure that they do not return.

“Not too long ago, General T.Y. Danjuma warned us to be ready for self-help. We hope that his predictions have not become inevitable and that our nation can be saved a slide into lawlessness and its disastrous consequences,” the SMBF leaders said.

 

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