Posted by News Express | 19 July 2014 | 5,255 times
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has cautioned the Igbo in South eastern Nigeria against maltreating northerners, warning that such could endanger the multi-billion Naira investment of the Igbo in the North.
ACF said the ongoing controversy in the East on issuance of identity cards to persons of northern extraction was uncalled for and estimated that the Igbos’ investments in Kaduna, Kano, and Jos alone amounted to about N45 trillion.
The Deputy Secretary-General of ACF, Abubakar Umar, said this while addressing members of the South-South/South-East Arewa Coalition, who paid a courtesy call on ACF on Thursday.
According to him, statistics available to them indicated that the Igbos’ investments in Kaduna, Kano, and Jos alone amounted to N45 trillion and with such huge investments in just three states of the North, the Easterners have no reason to maltreat northerners doing businesses in the East, stressing that: “If the table turns, it could be disastrous to their investments.
“They may suffer for it, but we are praying for understanding among the entire Nigerians to accept themselves wherever they live to earn legitimate means of livelihood. We express our fear that if the north should embark on similar development by screening the Igbos in the northern region, it could lead to a crisis that may lead to undeserved division of Nigerians along ethnic or religious lines.
“Yoruba and Igbo people in Jos, capital of Plateau State lost N480 billion and N410 billion investments respectively to the 2011 post election violence. The South-South also lost N970 billion in the same crisis.
“We have these statistics, so we expect the Igbos to treat our kinsmen, our brothers and sisters in the East as kings and Queens in view of the fact that they (Igbos) have more investments in the north than in the East.
“Take Abuja, the Federal capital territory, for example, the Igbos occupy over 73 percent of the land, so these are some of the reasons why they should be everybody’s keepers in their place.”
The leader of the Coalition, Mallam Awwal Yusuf, had earlier said that northerners were doing business amidst fear in the East and called on the ACF to intervene.
“This is because every trader or Muslim from the north is considered Boko Haram”.
Yusuf said the Arewa Coalition has taken to court the issue of identity card in order to seek justice and be freed from undue molestation in the hands of the people in the area.
“We are embarrassed with this issue of identity cards. Why should it be only traders or Muslims from the north that should be identified?
“We have taken the case to a court in Enugu, and we are hopeful that the State Governor, Sullivan Chime, is ready to help us by sending his lawyer to stand for us.”
The Secretary-General of the ACF, Col. John Ubah (rtd), also told the visiting northerners from the East that ACF was established to protect the whole north and its people.
He said whatever happened to any northerner anywhere was always considered a serious issue.
•Credit: Saturday Tribune. Photo shows ACF Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie
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