Despite,thwe withdrawn of October 1 Quit notice and assurances by northern youths that they would not attack Igbos resident in northern states tomorrow, state governments have beefed up security across the region.
Northern youth groups under the auspices of Arewa Youths Coalition had, on June 6, given Igbos resident in the North an October 1 deadline to leave for the South East over the agitation for Biafra.
The ultimatum was withdrawn on August 24 following national outcry and intervention of governors of northern states.
In state capitals, particularly in the North West, it was observed on Friday that government was not leaving anything to chances on security of lives and property.
In Sokoto and Zamfara, it was confirmed that security was beefed up on the orders of the governors of the states, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwwal and Alhaji Abdulazeez Yari, respectively.
Saturday Tribune reported that, Imam Imam, the media aide of the Sokoto State governor and Ibrahim Dosara, his counterpart in Zamfara State, confirmed that the police and other security agencies had been told to be on the alert.
It was learnt that the heightened security was essentially to forestall any breakdown of law and order against the background of the possibility of hoodlums taking advantage of the original threat against Igbos to cause mayhem.
The withdrawal of the quit notice by the northern youths means that their ultimatum is no longer tenable and therefore Igbos have their nod to continue to stay in that region without let or hindrance.
But the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Mr Agyole Abeh, in an interview, stated that the police and other security agencies would not take security of lives and property for granted.
“We have deployed our officers in strategic areas ahead of October 1 in order to avoid a situation where area boys and other hoodlums would take advantage of the situation and vandalise the property of Igbos,” Abeh said.
The commissioner assured residents of the state of the readiness of the police to secure their lives and property.
In the same spirit, the state government has obtained an arrest warrant against Arewa youths.
Mr Samuel Aruwan, spokesman of the state governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai,in a Chat with Saturday Tribune maintained that the warrant was necessary since the original declaration by the Arewa youths against Igbos was made in Kaduna.
Aruwan said the government remained committed to ensuring the safety of everyone living in the state, irrespective of tribe or religion.
However, when contacted for reaction to the arrest warrant obtained by the Kaduna State government, the leader of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF), Yerima Shettima said he had no comment.
But he called on the youth across the 19 northern states to avoid any activity capable of causing breach of the peace on October 1.
“We are in peace mood. We are ready to ensure that the country is peaceful. Don’t attack any tribe, please. Let’s continue to live in peace.
Ahead of the nation’s 57th Independence celebration tomorrow, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja command, Mr Sadiq Abubakar Bello, on Friday, warned hoodlums, miscreants and would-be troublemakers to keep off the nation’s capital and its surroundings.
He declared the city as “danger and security zone” for now.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, on Friday, after a meeting with sister security agencies and other stakeholders within the command over the security challenges arising from the threats and counter threats from different quarters ahead of the Independence Day, Bello assured the residents of the city of safety.
Bello said the police, in collaboration with other security agencies, had mapped out strategies to secure the command before, during and after the celebrations.
The commissioner, who was flanked by religious and traditional rulers as well as representatives of other security agencies, therefore, urged the residents to nurse no fears as the security operatives were prepared for any eventuality.
He equally called on the residents, particularly fun seekers, to feel free to go to amusement parks and other places of interest during the celebrations as the entire command had been fortified.
Bello, however, appealed to religious and traditional rulers, as well as community leaders, to enlighten their followers on the need for peaceful co-existence with people of different tribes and religions.
He urged them to cooperate with the security agencies by promptly reporting suspicious movements or people in their environments at the nearest police station.