Quit no­tice: Arewa youth, Shet­tima meet in Maiduguri

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Hamza Idris

Borno State Gov­er­nor Kashim Shet­tima has on be­half of north­ern gov­er­nors hosted in Maiduguri five key lead­ers of a coali­tion of Arewa groups that gave the Igbo Oc­to­ber 1 dead­line to va­cate the North.

The gov­er­nor had held two sep­a­rate meet­ings with the lead­ers in Kaduna and Abuja in July dur­ing which he mounted pres­sure on the coali­tion to pub­licly with­draw the quit no­tice.

“The gov­er­nors want the quit no­tice pub­licly with­drawn so as not to take chances be­cause the coali­tion which is­sued the ul­ti­ma­tum will not be able to con­trol pos­si­ble un­rest af­ter the ul­ti­ma­tum. The gov­er­nors feel there could be some irate youths who may be plan­ning vi­o­lence in any part of the North as soon as the ul­ti­ma­tum ex­pires on Oc­to­ber 1st. That could lead to reprisals in the south and the coun­try boils,” Shet­tima was quoted to have said af­ter a sec­ond meet­ing in Abuja in July.

The coali­tion lead­ers in re­sponse, re­quested a grace of two weeks to meet rep­re­sen­ta­tives of dif­fer­ent north­ern groups in their coali­tion for wide con­sul­ta­tions and in or­der to avoid re­bel­lion by any mem­ber of the coali­tion in the event with­drawal is an­nounced with­out proper con­sul­ta­tion.

It was gath­ered that the lead­ers held con­sul­ta­tions with other mem­bers in Kano last week fol­low­ing which Gov­er­nor Shet­tima in­vited them to Maiduguri to chart a way for­ward.

Daily Trust gath­ered that the five promi­nent lead­ers of the coali­tion that went to Maiduguri were Yer­ima Shet­tima, Ashir Sher­rif, Ab­du­lAzeez Suleiman, Aminu Adam and Balarabe Ru­fai.

They were said to have ar­rived Maiduguri on Tues­day and met with Gov­er­nor Kashim Shet­tima at night. The source said the lead­ers left on Wed­nes­day morn­ing af­ter con­clud­ing dis­cus­sions that lasted hours.

When con­tacted by Daily Trust, spokesman of the coali­tion, Ab­du­lAzeez Suleiman, now back in Kaduna, con­firmed that he and the four other lead­ers of the coali­tion were in Maiduguri on the gov­er­nor’s in­vi­ta­tion.

He also said Gov­er­nor Shet­tima had also in­vited north­ern el­der states­man, Pro­fes­sor Ango Ab­dul­lahi and two north­ern el­ders to at­tend the meet­ing but Pro­fes­sor Ab­dul­lahi who had al­ready trav­elled to Abuja to catch a flight to Maiduguri, fell ill and couldn’t make it. As a re­sult, only the youths met the gov­er­nor.

Shet­tima had in Kaduna last month in­vited the coali­tion lead­ers for a closed-door meet­ing.

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