The Arewa Youth Integrity Forum (AYIF) has frowned at the relationship between Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, Femi Fani-Kayode, former Minister of Aviation, and Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The youth group, through a statement, threatened to stop supporting Atiku as it believes that his alliance with Fani-Kayode and the IPOB leader might destabilise the country.
It would be recalled that Kanu, who went missing in September 2017 following the invasion of his compound in Umuahia, Abia State capital, during the military’s ‘Operation Python Dance’ in the South East, was spotted in Jerusalem, Israel, praying at the Wailing Wall.
Few minutes after his reappearance, Fani-Kayode, a chieftain of the PDP, took to his Twitter handle to announce that he spoke with Kanu, whom he said, had agreed to work with the PDP to oust President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Adamu Adamu, the AYIF National President, in his reaction, said Atiku might lose northern youths’ support if he failed to distance himself from Kanu.
According to him, “AYIF has followed with concerns the reappearance of the wanted leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and the invitation to anarchy by one of those standing trial for corruption, Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK), who disclosed that Kanu has agreed to work for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming elections.
“We find it odd that Fani-Kayode, who had alleged a military abduction and assassination of Nnamdi Kanu, did not deem it proper to apologise to Nigerians for his lies, but simply pretended as if he never made such outlandish claims and switched to talking political alliance.
“His lies about the ‘Hausa/Fulani imperialists’ killing Kanu and had placed the lives of persons of these ethnicities at risk while also pushing the entire country to the edge of a meltdown. His lack of remorse shows that it is something he will attempt again in no distant time.
“AYIF further reminds Nigerians that prior to jumping bail, Kanu, with his followers, had consistently referred to Nigeria as a zoo and the citizens as animals that do not deserve to live.
“His inflammatory provocations got to a point where Nigerians were angered to a point of issuing quit notices against each other along ethnic lines, even as Kanu’s IPOB continued to call for the disintegration of the country.
“It, therefore, borders on insanity for the same Kanu to reappear today and be declared part of the nation’s political process without first renouncing his separatist stance and demand for violence against Hausa/Fulani.
“The hatred of the two men against Hausa/Fulani remains evident from the comments of their followers on online platforms and there is no proof they have tried to call their radicalised followers to order.
He maintained that ordinarily, the alliance between Fani-Kayode and Kanu did not bother the group since the leading candidates in the presidential race were from the north.
Adamu said: “But, we find it repulsive that men who have not properly proven themselves are jostling to take the leading role in how Nigerians decides their affairs.
“One of them is standing trial for treason and the other is on trial for capital corruption. So, they have the incentives to deliberately cause provocations that will destroy the country and ensure that Nigeria no longer exists as a country to conclude their trial.
“We, therefore, warn the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, that he risks losing the support of Arewa if he associates his campaign with Femi Fani-Kayode and Nnamdi Kanu, who have both repeatedly declared their disdain and hatred for Nigerians from the northern parts of the country.
“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the PDP must immediately formally distance themselves from FFK and Kanu failing which AYIF will be compelled to mobilise other Arewa youth groups to express their displeasure with the PDP.