Afenifere, NEF differ on northerners’ protection in South

THE Northern Elders Forum on Tuesday raised the alarm over what it described as a deliberate targeting of northerners in southern part of Nigeria.

The forum said there had been “reported killings, destruction and stealing of property belonging to northerners and other assaults, which had been going on for days”.

The organisation, therefore, called on northerners in the South to “compile a verifiable inventory of lives and property lost, and approach relevant authorities for appropriate restitution.”

But the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere warned the northern elders to be careful about statements that could inflame passion.

“Our friends in NEF should be more careful about statements that can inflame passion. We make this appeal, not out of fear, but a deep sense of responsibility and the understanding of the place of elders.

“Our utterances should bring calm at this delicate period,” the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin said.

Earleir, the NEF Director, Publicity and Advocacy said, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in a statement titled, ‘The need to protect northerners in the South’ explained that the forum had resisted the pressure to raise the alarm earlier “on these unacceptable acts of hostility at Nigerians living and earning legitimate livelihood peacefully in many communities in the South, out of concern that doing so would further worsen a major national crisis.”

The statement further read in part, “The forum calls for immediate stop of attacks and harassment of northerners in many southern communities.”

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