The Kaduna State Government led by Mr. Nasir El-Rufai said it has obtained a bench warrant for the arrest of members of the coalition of Northern youths that issued the quit notice to Igbo resident in the North to leave the region by October 1. The government, in a statement, which was made available to the media in Kaduna, called on members of the public to alert the police anytime those who issued the quit notice are seen or sighted.
Recall that a group of Northern youths had in June ordered Nigerians of South-east extraction to leave the North on October 1 or face the consequences, declaring that the North could no longer live in the same country with the Igbo. The misguided youth were reacting to the manner of agitation by members of the Independent Pwoplw of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu. The group was wholesomely condemned by well-meaning Nigerians across the country.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State had ordered for their arrest following the declaration but up till today nothing was done by security agencies in the country. But the same agencies that failed to carry out the order of Governor of Kaduna State were hurriedly led by the Nigerian army to declare Operation Python Dance in the South-east, which led to so many deaths.
The northern coalition that issued the quit notice later retraced its steps by withdrawing the ultimatum, following consultations and mediation by both Northern and Igbo leaders. The statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, spokesman to the Kaduna governor, said: “When some elements barged into our state capital to deliver an illegal ultimatum to a section of our community, the government condemned it and ordered the arrest of those concerned.”
He said the state government had lodged a criminal complaint against those behind the quit notice and obtained a bench warrant against them. “Therefore, anybody that sights them or is aware of their location should proudly discharge the civic duty of informing the police,” statement said.
According to the state government, “The criminal complaint specifies the sections of the recently updated Penal Code Law of Kaduna State, 2017 that were violated by those who issued the illegal ultimatum. These include Inciting Disturbance: Section 78; Disturbing Public Peace: Section 77; Injurious Falsehood: Section 373; Unlawful Assembly: Section 66; and Criminal Conspiracy: Section 59.
“The formal criminal complaint and the bench warrant secured on August 8, 2017, provide a basis to investigate, apprehend and ultimately prosecute the suspects. Accordingly, a competent court has directed the Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State to act on the criminal complaint. The Kaduna State Government considers this a most important matter of law enforcement, and will not relent on the matter. Anybody contemplating unlawful action should know that such will invite a vigorous law enforcement response. The Kaduna State Government is persuaded that a law-governed society should always signal that sanctions will follow illegal behaviour. This is in the interest of justice, peace and harmony.”
A social commentator who reacted to the statement of the Kaduna State spokesperson said he finds it funny that Kaduna State government is calling on the public to inform them where those that issued the quit notice are. “That is the nonsense politics they play in this country that is annoying to some of us. If the army would come from wherever to locate Kanu’s father’s house in Umuahia, why can’t the same government know where the leaders of the so-called northern youth coalition. Until they arrest them, some of us will not be convinced that they are serious.”