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Monday, 19 June 2017

Quit notice: DSS goes after hate campaigners, sponsors

From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja and  Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure and David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi

Department of State Services (DSS) declared, yesterday, that the October 1 quit notice from a coalition of Arewa youths to Igbo, was illegal and unconstitutional.
It warned persons causing disaffection and tension to immediately desist from such acts.
The security agency, also, said it would deal with those found culpable while noting that it had launched an investigation to unmask sponsors of the recent wave of hate campaigns and quit notice orders.

DSS, in a statement by its spokesman, Tony Opuiyo, said the agency would stop at nothing to maintain peace and order in the country.
“Only recently, the Arewa Youths in a press statement called for the relocation of the Igbos from the North. Unfortunately, this development has been followed by a release from an unknown source styled, Niger Delta Watchdogs, threatening all northerners to quit Niger Delta region,” the statement read.
“Meanwhile, another group went to the extent of harvesting from the internet, a horrific accident scene, for the purpose of making it look like a site of massacre of Igbo ethnic group by northern youths. However, the Service has been able to establish that the purported murder scene being depicted as a field of massacre was a high casualty accident scene, which occurred along Owo-Akure road, Ondo State, on 3rd March, 2016.
Those involved in these misleading and despicable acts have since been warned to desist from anything capable of causing disaffection and stoking nationwide tensions, it said.
The statement noted that the relocation order was not only illegal, but was against the spirit of the constitution, which provided for freedom of movement and association among others.
“Well-meaning and law abiding citizens and residents are enjoined to disregard persuasion by these tribal jingoists to make our beloved country a theatre of the absurd and blood-letting. It is time for us, Nigerians, to show our humanness and patriotism, which have been our defining strength as one united indivisible nation.
“The service has already commenced a detailed investigation to get the perpetrators of these hate campaigns as well as their sponsors. At the appropriate time all those involved in these condemnable acts will be unmasked and decisively dealt with in line with the laws of the land.”
Also reacting, former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu faulted the three-month ultimatum.
Kalu, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, said what the country needed was unity, whereby citizens irrespective of tribe, would be able to live in any part of the country they like.
Kalu who lauded the northern governors for quickly disowning the youths and reiterating their support for the unity of the country, attributed the current agitation in the South-east and other parts of the country to perceived injustice.
While calling on the government to address the feeling of injustice, he said there was need for the country to return to regionalism.
“If they have social justice, rule of law, if you have every law of the country respected, you use one law to try everybody, you use one law to talk to everybody, there will be no problem and every part of the nation will agree that they are Nigerians,” he said.
He lauded the present administration for dealing decisively with Boko Haram insurgents.
However, he said there was need for the government to do more to revamp the economy, adding that once that was done, complaints in the country would be a thing of the past.
“When people say they are hungry, we also know that they (governments) have done well. But I want this government to see that our problem is not political, our problem- whether Boko Haram, Biafra, militants, OPC- is economic,” he said.
Lagos lawyer and rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) also challenged the Federal Government to ensure that the Arewa youths were arrested and prosecuted.
Falana who spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital tasked the Federal Government to institute legal action against the youths.
However, a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Board of Trustees, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka described the quit notice as a blessing in disguise; an opportunity to turn the South-east to Dubai and Japan of Africa when the Igbo in northern zones returned home with their wealth of experience in diverse areas to contribute to the development of Igboland.
He advised all Igbo in the North to make haste and return home, saying that no human being would hear that he would be killed and still remained where he or she was.
“Let the Igbo in the North come back home to help develop our land. Only the Igbo will go to another land and begin to build factories, hotels and other investments only to abandon them in time of crisis. Have you ever seen people from other ethnic groups building solid magnificent houses and other solid investments in Igbo land? That is why an Igbo man should learn his lessons,” Chief Ezeonwuka said.
The Movement for the Survival of Igbo People (MSIP) also joined the call for the arrest of all Arewa youth leaders that participated in the purported Kaduna declaration.
Vice Chairman of MSIP, Chuks Ogbuka noted that failure to do so would encourage people in other regions to retaliate and in the process heat up the polity.

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