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The Arewa Youths Integrity Forum (AYIF) has condemned what it described as the desperate attempt to exonerate the real culprits behind the killing of Hausa-Fulani residents in Abia State, saying the development is alarming and criminally intended to shield the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leaders who committed the atrocities from justice.
The Department of State Services (DSS) had indicted IPOB in the death of the five men following the discovery of mass graves with scores of yet to be identified bodies in a forest in the state.
The group said it is lending its voice to the demand for the prosecution of all those involved in the heinous act by the appropriate security agencies that must also confront IPOB collaborators who seek to use such provocation to trigger widespread unrests in Nigeria.
A statement issued by National President of AYIF, Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar warned that shielding the perpetrators from justice would encourage more killings as they would be encouraged to consider their murderous acts the new normal.
The statement explained that making the killers face the law is important to reassure other ethnic nationalities and discourage them from embarking on reprisals.
The statement said: “The Abia State Government has continued to deny the killings of the northerners who were going about their peaceful activities in the state before they were allegedly kidnapped and gruesomely buried alive by the IPOB members in that state.
“Unfortunately, rather than condemning this heinous act against humanity, the Abia state government has resorted to defending the murderous Independent People of Biafra and its leadership over these war crimes. It is therefore becoming glaring that the real actors behind the activities of IPOB are gradually being unfolded and in due course it shall be uncovered to the chagrin of all Nigerians.”
Abubakar said AYIF is not surprised at the state government’s denial but that it will continue to urge Nigerians to remain calm in the face of the provocation by Biafra separatists who have set aside international conventions to embrace criminality in the name of agitations for independence.