Igbo youths under the aegis of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC) have berated the leadership of the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF) over their opposition to the unconditional release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
OYC said its northern counterpart, AYCF, ought to intensify efforts on solving attacks of Boko Haram terrorists and bandits ravaging the North, rather than poking its nose into the affairs of Kanu.
The Igbo group said this in its reaction to statements made by the AYCF President, Yerima Shettima, who during a media interview claimed that allowing Kanu to go unpunished would be detrimental to Nigeria and the Nigerian Government.
Yerima’s view followed the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and some prominent Igbo persons, led by elder statesman, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi.
However, in a statement issued on Tuesday on behalf of Igbo youths, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, accused Shettima of playing politics with a very sensitive matter.
Okwu wondered why “Arewa youths have never given such opposition to the release and reintegration of so-called repentant Boko Haram terrorists but were against the release of Nnamdi Kanu, a freedom fighter.
“We have consistently made it clear that Kanu is engaging in self-determination, which is recognised under the international law and conventions.
“The Biafra agitation is also undoubtedly being fuelled by the ill-treatment of the Igbo in Nigeria, and till this point, there appears to have been no lessons learnt by those benefiting from this unjust nature of the country.
“This is why the Arewa youths will talk the way they did. One expects that they should be more concerned with the worsening activities of bandits and Boko Haram, than Nnamdi Kanu.”
The Igbo group urged President Buhari to go ahead and honour the Igbo leaders in line with his promise during the visit.
The statement continued, “We are also urging the Governors and the South-East caucus of the National Assembly, led by Senator Ike Ekweremadu not to relent on their own efforts.
“The timely release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu should be of utmost concern to every Igbo person, and our political, religious and traditional leaders must unite to accomplish that goal.”