Following the controversy trailing the arrest and detention of some suspects over recent clash between Yoruba residents and their Hausa neighbours in Ile-Ife, Osun State, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), has urged the judiciary to let justice take its full course in the case, without bowing to ethnics pressure.
AYCF, in a statement issued on Monday by its National President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, said the gang-up to pervert the course of justice in the Ile-Ife killings by means of harassing and intimidating the courts and the police from investigating and punishing those found guilty should be avoided.
“We take exception to those marauders who are hiding behind ethnic umbrella and are desperately trying to pervert the course of justice. We are cautioning them to tread carefully so that their latest action would not provoke reprisal attacks, because this is an important period in the history of this nation, when all compatriots are working hard to address the multiple challenges confronting the nation, economically, politically and socially.
“We would like to remind the Afenifere group that the people of the North have displayed maturity by not going after the millions of Yoruba citizens doing business in the region. This is a demonstration of respect for the rule of law and not cowardice.
“We watched with dismay, how the Afenifere is beginning to fan the embers of hatred against the victims and creating heroes out of the attackers. This amounts to a subtle ethnic cleansing campaign and we wish to warn Afenifere and its paymasters to shun such a dangerous act. Afenifere and their fellow collaborators in this massive cover-up campaign bear in mind that we, the Northerners, are watching and if we were not law-abiding, we would have followed the same path of ethnic antagonism and defending the indefensible.
“We urge the Nigerian judiciary to let justice take its full course and ignore the ranting of tribal jingoists, masquerading as champions of ethnic cleansing agenda. It is now evident that Afenifere has openly endorsed the killings, especially as they were all quiet when the killings were going on and shamelessly came out after the arrests by security agents have been made. Let this be last time anyone would be shielded for killing fellow citizens in the name of ethnic or tribal agenda. We have had enough of this rubbish,” the group stated.