The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has expressed the hope that ordinary Northerners will be given the same protection given the South-Easterners in the Northern part of the country.
In a communique read by the national chairman of ACF, Chief Audu Ogbeh on Wednesday,the Forum noted that from reports reaching them said ordinary citizens who are earning their daily life are being attacked in the Southeast.
“We hope these ordinary Northerners are given the same protection we have given the South-Easterners in our midst,” he said.
While assuring them of Igbo’s protection in the North, the Forum called on the South-East leaders to stop their people from harassing and killing the ordinary Northerners plying their trade in their region.
The Forum expressed satisfaction with the recent stand of the South-East leaders and Governors on the violent agitation for secession from Nigeria by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network.
“The Forum expressed satisfaction that the Igbo elders have finally disowned the agitators and called on the elders to take concrete measures to ensure that such agitations come to an end.
“The ACF notes that the South-East Leaders called on Northern leaders to protect their indigenes who are living in the North. We wish to assure them that all Igbos who are living in the North are guaranteed their personal security; sometimes they enjoy a security which even Northerners do not enjoy.
“On the other hand, we have received reports on a daily basis of Northerners, ordinary citizens who are earning their daily life as nail cutters, suya makers, shoe shiners, onion sellers, are being bullied, beaten and even killed.
“In the very near future, the Forum hopes to meet with leaders of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Afenifere and South-South leaders to discuss the lingering issues in the country that have tended to pitch ethnic and regional groups against each other.”
The Forum also commended two Northern governors, Senator Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and Professor Umara Zulum of Borno as state chief executives who have demonstrated unusual courage in their fight against terrorism in their states and urged other governors in the North to demonstrate similar bravery in the fight against insecurity that is ruining everything that he North has always stood for.
The Forum also praised the gallantry of our fighting forces who against all odds have continued to risk their own lives in the fight against banditry and insurgencies.