Just in: Arewa group comes for Sanwo-Olu, Lagos government over alleged arrest of northerners, sends message to Buhari
- The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) wants President Muhammadu Buhari to call Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to order over alleged arrest of northerners in Lagos
- The AYCF wonders how the south west wants the north to relinquish power to the zone with the alleged arrest of the northerners
- The group says it can no longer bear the humiliation of the northerners and would act with all legal powers
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has demanded explanation from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the alleged arrest and humiliation of northerners resident in Lagos state.
In a statement made available to Legit.ng on Monday, December 9, and signed by its president, Yerima Shettima, the group also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the governor to order.
The group accused the state of hounding the northerners, mostly commercial motorcyclists, with the state's task force, who go to the homes of the residents at odd hours to effect arrest.
While noting that Lagos state never banned the use of motorcycles but only restricted them from some roads, the AYCF added that the arrest of the northerners was already causing tension.
"We reliably gathered that, using a gestapo style the lagos Task force officials have been invading homes of northerners in Lagos in ungodly hours of the night and carting away motorcycles while forcefully abducting the occupants and hauling them into detention," AYCF alleged.
While describing it as impunity against northerners, the group said it was strange that this is coming from the south west, a region that expects the north to hand over power to it in 2023.
"We have reason to now wonder if the south west truly expects the north to make it a successor in 2023," the statement said.
The group said it finds it unacceptable the state government would decide to forcefully invade the homes of northerners very late at night just for the purpose of arresting them for offences they have not committed.
The AYCF demanded that the state government must explain the rationale behind the arrest of the northerners. "It was very touching when we saw the task force officials raiding homes with majority of northerners in Oshodi area on the wee hours of the night," the group said.
The group said it would not condone the actions of the task force anymore.
The group said:
1. We demand immediate explanation for this humiliating operation, let either the Lagos state government tell the world that it officially sanctioned this gestapo operation or it was the instruction of Task Force boss that we are seeing this physical assault on our people.
2. We are deeply disturbed by this rather uncivilised conduct in the 21st century, happening in a supposedly cosmopolitan city like Lagos. We gathered that the people in many northern states are already tensed up by the news filtering out of Lagos since Thursday through Saturday. And we dare say this kind of tension in the north has very often been a precursor to revenge attacks. Something drastic must be done to avoid a recurrence of past security challenges caused by the humiliation of northerners in Lagos.
3. We call on President Buhari to take drastic steps in ensuring this impunity by Lagos state government or task force is halted immediately. We call on all security agencies to take immediate steps in averting a situation capable of destabilising the country. Northerners, like other Nigerians, have every right to movement for trade anywhere in the country as guaranteed by the constitutional provision on freedom of movement.
4. Most importantly, we call for the immediate release from prison all the innocent northerners whose homes were raided in the ungodly hour by task force officials. This, in our candid view, will be the first step in ensuring justice for the innocent northerners. Why haul them into detention, in defiance of well-known constitutional provisions or the rule of law in general?
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5. We wish to reiterate that any further attempt to humiliate innocent northerners in any part of this country will be resisted by our group with all the available legal and constitutional weapons. In a balanced world, institutions are created for tackling problems but not in the manner Lagos state government through the task force is currently doing to our own people. It is therefore a smear on decorum, disrespectful of human dignity and a brazen abuse of official powers. And this is totally unacceptable.
Whoever has ear, let him hear. Enough of this physical assault on innocent northerners in Lagos, we so warn!
Legit.ng earlier reported that Shettima had earlier said the north will produce the next president when Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.
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