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Igbo Quit Notice: I am not a coward, I get support from my elders - Shettima, leader of Arewa forum

Shettima Yerima
The Co-Convener of the Coalition of Northern Groups and leader of Arewa Consultative Youth Forum, Shettima Yerima, has boasted that he has the support of his elders in the quit notice he issued to Igbos living in the North.

Recall that Yerima and his Arewa groups has few weeks ago issued an ultimatum to Igbo people living in the North to vacate the region before Oct 1 this year.

The statement which caused lots of tension in Nigeria, has been condemned in different quarters.

Contrary to that, a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, had on Thursday at a news conference in Abuja described Yerima (the man who issued the quit notice) as a “Lagos man.”

Falana said; “The man who gave quit notice (to Igbo living in the North) does not live in the North. He lives in Lagos. I am saying this: Shettima Yerima lives in Lagos. He is a Lagos man. So, to live in Lagos and be giving quit notice is not the answer.”

Reacting to the human rights lawyer’s statement on Friday night, Yerima told Punch Newspaper that Falana was only seeking cheap publicity, adding that he has the support of his Northern elders before issuing the statement.

He said; “I am for and with the North. I am not a coward. I am protecting the interests of my people and I get support from my elders. Falana is living in the past. I spend more time in the North than in Lagos.

“And, when did it become a crime that a northerner cannot issue a statement in the North though he stays in Lagos? I am a Nigerian. Shouldn’t Falana be castigating the man who said he hates Nigerians and doesn’t want his people to remain a part of Nigeria? I am in touch with my people. I have followers; does Falana have supporters? How many times has he contested elections in Ekiti State and lost? Despite his level of intelligence he hasn’t won an election in his state. Leading your people is not about propaganda and noise-making; it is about facing reality.”

“As I speak to you now I am in Kaduna. Is there a law that says being a Nigerian I cannot do so? While he’s busy pursuing personal interests, I am defending my people against the insults and blackmail of one Igbo called Nnamdi Kanu and his co-travellers. What has Falana done about the insults IPOB heaped on the Yoruba? He is seeking cheap publicity.

“I challenge him to come and see how I am living as a king in Kaduna – I am being celebrated. I am here to defend the integrity of my people. Does he consider Nnamdi Kanu a foreigner – someone who has lived for many years abroad? I have my roots in Zaria and I go home regularly. When last did Falana visit his home in Ekiti?”

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