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The Northern group said it was wrong to treat innocent northerners as terrorists. President of AYCF, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, told The PUNCH that the group was worried that a continuation of such arrests could lead to the break-up of Nigeria.
Shettima said it was certain that virtually all the arrested northerners had no links with Boko Haram, warning the South-East governors and security agencies to stop such arrests, saying it was capable of fuelling enmity between northerners and southerners.
“This gives us a lot of worry. Are these South-East governors or whoever is at the helms of affairs doing this in the interest of this country or to cause more hatred for our people, so that country will break up? Those who are acting out this script of disintegration are not helping this country, especially at this challenging period.
“We are not in support of Boko Haram or their bomb attacks. We are saying that innocent citizens should not suffer because some evil-minded people come from their area. I can tell you that those who were arrested in Abia are not Boko Haram members. We had a case were about 500 people arrested in Lagos, when a Boko Haram member was arrested in Ijora Badia area of Lagos, with arms and ammunition, I intervened and on getting to the force headquarters, we discovered that the most of them were innocent and they were released.