Governor of Yobe State, Ibrahim Gaidam, on Wednesday assured Igbos living in his domain that they had no cause for panic over recent eviction threat issued to them by a coalition of northern Nigerian youth, known as Arewa Consultative Youth Forum.
Yobe is one of the 19 northern states, and has a large population of Igbo in virtually all of its 17 local government areas. It is also one of the remotest states away from the southern part of the country.
The governor made these statements via a press statement issued by his spokesman, and special adviser on media, Abdullahi Bego.
Describing the eviction threat as “unfortunate, unlawful, and unwarranted”, Mr. Gaidam implored the youth of the 19 northern states to channel their energies and resources towards ventures that will better Nigeria, rather than resorting to issues that will further polarise the nation.
“Like other Nigerians, the Igbos have a right that is fully guaranteed by our constitution to live in any part of the country of their choice.
“As a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society, part of our nation’s strength lies in the diversity of its people. It is what has moved every successful nation forward.
“In Yobe State, the Igbos, like the people of other ethnicities, have lived and engaged peacefully with their neighbours”, the statement said.
Many Nigerians, state governors, religious and ethnics groups have continued to condemn the controversial eviction order.
The Northern Governors’ Forum led by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State condemned threat, and said the Arewa youth group was “unknown”.
But the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Ango Abdullahi, came out to back the action of the Arewa youth, saying that (NEF) was disappointed with the northern governors’ forum for coming out to condemn the youth.
Mr. Abudullahi, a former Vice Chancellor of the Ahamadu Bello University, Zaria, said “whoever feels Nigeria is not conducive for him let him quit”, and added that what the Arewa youth did “was not a sin”.
The NEF disowned Mr. Abdullahi’s statement, saying he acted on his own.