Nigerian Police Refuse to Arrest Arewa Youths Nine days After el-Rufai’s Order

Nine days after Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State ordered the arrest and prosecution of some Northern youths that gave Igbo in the North a three-month ultimatum to leave the region, no arrest has been made by the police.

A coalition of Northern groups, including the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, had on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 given all Igbo in the 19 states of the North till October 1 to leave the region or be forced out.

The ultimatum was handed down at a well attended press conference held at the Arewa House, Kaduna, and el-Rufai had ordered the immediate arrest and prosecution of all signatories to the statement the next day.

The governor, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant-Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, ordered the immediate arrest of all signatories to the statement issuing the ultimatum.

“We will not tolerate such irresponsible statements and conduct in our state. The statement issued by the “Northern youths” violates the laws of Kaduna State. Therefore, the Kaduna State Government has directed that its Ministry of Justice should prepare charges and prosecute the signatories and anyone complicit in arranging this egregious assault on the rights of fellow citizens,” the governor’s statement had read.

But on the evening of Thursday, June 15, ASP M.D. Muhammad, the Acting Public Relations Officer, Kaduna State Police Command, and also the Personal Assistant to the state police commissioner, Agyole Abeh, confirmed that the youths had not yet been arrested.

When asked why the youth had not been arrested, Muhammad said “efforts are in top gear” to make the arrests, but did not state why that was still the case after more than a week.

When the same question was put across to the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, he said, “The Commissioner of Police in the Northern state has been directed by the Inspector-General of Police (Ibrahim Idris) to make sure that those threats are not actualised. The IG insists that Assistant Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police in charge of the zone and the command should ensure law and order are maintained and that the ultimatum is not actualised.

“The police will encourage people to live in peace. The protection of lives and property in Nigeria is paramount to us.”

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