Saturday, 14 February 2015


Alhaji Shettima Yerima,  an activist and president of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, in this interview says that peace may continue to be elusive if some ethnic groups are treated as second class citizens in the Nigeria project, adding that justice and fairness can only ensure the much desired peace in the country.
The inflammatory statements here and there especially coming from politicians and ex-militants on the general elections are source of worry. You agree?

I am worried because this is not what we expected from this country at this time. I am very worried also because we don’t need these inflammatory statements coming here and there at this particular time. It baffles me when I see our democracy turning into something else. People don’t talk as patriotic Nigerians. Politicians don’t talk about what will benefit the people any more and those who are beneffiting from the government shy away from the truth. Most of them believe that they can do anything and go away with it.

Many Politicians seem to have forgotten that election will come and go but the country will remain.

We are doing it. As I speak with you, we are in touch with various ethnic national leaders. I have spoken, with Fredrick Fasheun, Gani Adams, Asari Dokubo and the rest of them. We are discussing extensively and we might hold a press briefing very soon on the need for violence-free elections before and after election in all parts of the country.

To me, both the ex-militants and TY Danjuma are wrong. The call for war is wrong and also depriving somebody of his freedom of speech is also wrong. If Jonathan loses through normal process, they have no reason to raise any eyebrow; again, there are other channels without war. You can go to court and challenge the verdict. Nigeria must be seen to be bigger than any individual.

Again, the call by Danjuma that they should be arrested is uncalled for because similar statements have been made by other people in the past. What happened? Was there any arrest? No. So, anybody talking now is enjoying his liberty under a democratic government.

But from the discussion I had with so many of them, nobody wants war.

We should ask Minister for Defence, the National Security Adviser, NSA, the Inspector General of Police, Attorney-General of the federation, all of them are from the north. Instead of pointing accusing fingers, these people should tell us about it and we will know where the problem is coming from rather than blaming Jonathan alone.


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