The Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police Force, Jimoh Moshood, in an interview with Punch explains why the police have yet to make arrests of Northern youths who issued a quit ultimatum to Igbo living in the region.
Some people wonder why the police were quick to arrest Yoruba people after the Ile-Ife crisis and reluctant to carry out arrests after the quit notice given by some northern youths to Igbo people in the region. Why is that so?
When you see people killing innocent people, going after them from house to house, you cannot ask why were the police quick in arresting them. It would be wrong for anyone to compare the two cases. We had wanton destruction of property at Ife. Anyone drawing parallel lines between the two cases either on ethnic or whatsoever consideration is not doing the nation any good. We rose to the occasion during the Ife crisis and you know Ife and environs had been known for protracted crisis. We swiftly moved in and restored law and order and ensured that the perpetrators were arrested and as I speak with you, they are being prosecuted. When you talk of the Arewa youths, on the other hand, we are looking for them. Anybody who violates the law must be arrested. There is no basis for comparison between the two incidents.
Is there any move to arrest the Arewa youths?
I think I have answered this question. The IG has directed that no individual has the right to ask another Nigerian to relocate from or to any part of the country. Everyone has the right to live and do business in any part of the country and to have property as stated in the constitution. The IG has issued a warning, he equally directed the Assistant Inspector-General in charge of the zone and CP in charge of the command that they should do everything to make sure that the threat is not actualised.