The Northern Elders Forum on Tuesday declared that it would no longer tolerate further attacks on members of the northern community in the southern part of the country.
The Chairman, NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, made the declaration in Port Harcourt on Tuesday during a town hall meeting with members of the northern community in Rivers State.
While noting that the forum was in the state to commiserate with northerners, who suffered losses during the EndSARS protest, he said it was becoming clear that the attacks against northerners were carried out by some group from the South -East.
“What was surprising to us was that those that perpetrated the violence against northerners were the same people who cried more and called for compensation other than those, who suffered the consequences.
“We take particular delight when we talked with the governor (Chief Nyesom Wike) of the state. We were told by residents of Rivers State that the governor was particularly interested in protecting them and their rights as he swore in his oath of office.
“It’s now becoming clear that most of the violence against the northerners in various parts of the South came from people from the South- the Eastern States, people with some names.
“We are not sure what name really they want to keep. They come with different brands; they use this name (making a veil reference to the disbursement of Indigenous People of Biafra) to perpetrated criminality in different parts of the country. For years, this particular incident has been with us for some time.
“It is up to the authorities to assure all of us that this must end; this must stop. I think the North will no longer allow this red line to be crossed. It is because people get away with criminal behavior without sanctions and punishment; that is why they keep recycling this irresponsible behavior.
“Therefore, as we leave the South-South, we will be heading for the South – East. We will be speaking with the leadership there, especially the governors, to remind them of their responsibility to protect residents irrespective of where they come from in their areas of responsibility.
“Failure to do so, especially, on this continuous basis, it will be difficult for all of us who have been restraining our various communities, especially, our youths to protect others when their brethren are being killed and maimed in other parts of the country,” he stated.
In his remark, Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Northern Elders Forum, Hakeem Baba – Ahmed said the protection of every citizen irrespective of their religion, ethnicity, or place of residence was key to the peace and security of the country.