The Nigerian police force has issued a statement on the vacation order issued to Igbos by some youth groups in the north.
The police issued a stern warning to the northern groups namely; Arewa Citizens Action for Change, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Arewa Youth Development Foundation, Arewa Students Forum and Northern Emancipation Network on the Igbo Persistence for Secession, urging them to desist from actions that will lead to further ethnic tension.
The statement also added that the groups were being monitored and any further attempts to breach the peace will lead to severe consequences.
Below is the full statement made available to Politics Nigeria;
The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to publications in the media accredited to the Arewa Citizens Action for Change, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Arewa Youth Development Foundation, Arewa Students Forum and Northern Emancipation Network on the Igbo Persistence for Secession, on their alleged ultimatum to Nigerians of Igbo extraction residing in the Northern Nigeria to relocate within three (3) months.
2.The Nigeria Police Force sees this ultimatum by the above-mentioned groups as illegal, unlawful, provocative and capable of causing a breach of the peace currently being enjoyed across the Country.
3.Consequently, the Inspector General of Police has directed all Commissioners of Police in charge of Police State Commands in the Country and their supervising Assistant Inspectors General of Police in the Zonal Commands of the Federation to beef up security in their respective States and ensure that the alleged ultimatum is not actualized. They are under strict instructions to maintain law and order and to sustain the protection of fundamental rights of every Nigerian as provided for by the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, particularly sections 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43 and 44 which are very sacrosanct and must be protected.
4.Every Nigerian including the Igbo or any other ethnic group have the rights to life, personal liberty, freedom of movement and the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria. No individual (s) or group (s) under any course, guise or excuse have the right to issue any ultimatum or warning to compel any Nigerian to leave or relocate from or to any part of the Country without their wish.
5.The Nigeria Police Force is imploring all well meaning Nigerians most especially the People of Igbo extraction to disregard the alleged ultimatum and go about their lawful engagements and other activities without fear or apprehension as adequate security arrangements have been put in place by the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to protect them and their properties across the Northern States and other parts of the Country. They should report any suspicious/untoward happenings observed in their neighbourhoods to the nearest Police station.
6. As a result the Force is calling on Arewa Citizens Action for Change, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Arewa Youth Development Foundation, Arewa Students Forum and Northern Emancipation Network on the Igbo Persistence for Secession, to desist forthwith the ultimatum and any further act that can precipitate tension and cause breach of the peace anywhere in the Country. The Nigeria Police Force is closely monitoring the activities of these groups and will apply the full weight of the law on any violator of the law or anyone who attempt to molest, mistreat, panic and cause fear in the mind of any other Nigerian anywhere in the Country.
7.The Force wishes to advise traditional rulers, opinion leaders, religious leaders, parents and guardians to prevail on their subjects, adherents, children and wards not to allow themselves to be used by any group (s) to cause disturbance of public peace, and unleash mayhem on innocent Nigerians anywhere in the country.
8.The Nigeria Police Force will continue to respect the diversity of the people and ensure that the rule of law prevails everywhere in the Country.