The Kaduna state government on Thursday said it has obtained warrants to arrest the leaders of the Coalition of Arewa Youths which issued a quit notice to all Igbo residents of the northern region of the country earlier in the year.
Recall, the Arewa Youths had issued the quit notice from a location in Kaduna and ordered all persons from the south eastern part of the country to leave the north before October 1, 2017. The group also urged northerners living in the south eastern part of the country to also return to the north.
Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai thereafter called on security agencies to arrest the signatories to the quit notice while a number of government officials reiterated similar threats but no arrest has been made till date.
Senior special assistant to the governor on media and publicity, Samuel Aruwan, while addressing a press conference on Thursday said the state government had made necessary applications to court to obtain warrants for the arrest of the Arewa Youth leaders because it considered the issue as very important to maintaining law and order in the state.
“The Kaduna State government notes with commendation the efforts of the residents of our diverse state to uphold peace in their communities.
”The government and the security agencies are working to prevent any threats to this cherished harmony. Vigorous security patrols will continue as part of concrete action to reassure residents and demonstrate that bad behaviour is unwelcome and will not be tolerated.
“When some elements barged into our state capital to deliver an illegal ultimatum to a section of our community, the government condemned it and ordered the arrest of those concerned. The Kaduna State Government followed up with a formal criminal complaint to the police, and has obtained a bench warrant against them,” Aruwan said.
Vanguard reports that the Kaduna state government has promised not to relent on the issue but that remains to be seen as many observers agree that the various levels of government have so far treated the Arewa Youths with kid gloves in comparison to other groups such as the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) accused of making divisive statements.