Abdulrahman Dambazau, minister of interior, says the Arewa youth that issued the Igbo quit notice were not arrested because they claimed to have been misquoted by the media concerning the notice.
The Arewa youth had asked the Igbo to leave the northern region on or before October 1.But speaking at a press briefing on Friday, the minister said the youth had denied making any inciting comment.He said the youth had also informed Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and the Department of State Services (DSS) that their comments were not properly represented.
Dambazau said efforts being made by the Kaduna state government and the ongoing dialogues are part of the reasons why the Arewa youth were not arrested.“They (the youth) later claimed the media quoted them out of context. I am very much aware that the DSS invited all of them, held a meeting with them to which they made a statement to the effect that what was reported in the media was not what they said,” the minister said.
“They further wrote to the acting president indicating that they did not make inciting statement as to the issue of violence or forceful ejection of the Igbos in the north. However, it was on the basis of that, the northern elders called them to also reaffirm from them that what was reported was not exactly what they meant.
“Secondly, it is on this basis that I am answering the question, but it is something that the Kaduna State government is handling since that is where it happened. I want to think that it was on that basis that the arrest was not made.
“Again, there have been several efforts to dialogue between the northern youths and the Igbo youths. Several of such meetings have been held including the reported one that (ended in a) stalemate about one week ago but my understanding is that these various groups are sitting down among themselves to reach an understanding.
“More importantly, government gave assurance when the Acting President met with leadership from various parts of the country that nothing is going to happen to any person. Government has assured that everybody should stay and continue with their normal businesses.”
On whether Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), had violated his bail conditions, Dambazau said it is the court that will decide his fate but that “it is not time yet for him to go back to the court for trial”.“We have this assumption but I think it is left for the court that gave those conditions to determine whether those conditions were violated or not,” he said.
“If those conditions were violated, the court knows what to do. We cannot assume that those conditions are being violated. Yes, the public knows but the determination of the extent of violation will be left for the court.“It is not like the police will go after Kanu to arrest him on the grounds that he violated the bail conditions. Kanu will have a day in court and the court will determine his fate because it is the court that gave those conditions.”
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