Abdulrahman Dambazau, minister of interior, says the Arewa youth that issued the Igbo quit notice were not arrested because they claimed to have been misquoted by the media concerning the notice.
The Arewa youth had asked the Igbo to leave the northern region on or before October 1.
But speaking at a press briefing on Friday, the minister said the youth had denied making any inciting comment.
He said the youth had also informed Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and the Department of State Services (DSS) that their comments were not properly represented.
Dambazau said efforts being made by the Kaduna state government and the ongoing dialogues are part of the reasons why the Arewa youth were not arrested.
“They (the youth) later claimed the media quoted them out of context. I am very much aware that the DSS invited all of them, held a meeting with them to which they made a statement to the effect that what was reported in the media was not what they said,” the minister said.
“They further wrote to the acting president indicating that they did not make inciting statement as to the issue of violence or forceful ejection of the Igbos in the north. However, it was on the basis of that, the northern elders called them to also reaffirm from them that what was reported was not exactly what they meant.
“Secondly, it is on this basis that I am answering the question, but it is something that the Kaduna State government is handling since that is where it happened. I want to think that it was on that basis that the arrest was not made.
“Again, there have been several efforts to dialogue between the northern youths and the Igbo youths. Several of such meetings have been held including the reported one that (ended in a) stalemate about one week ago but my understanding is that these various groups are sitting down among themselves to reach an understanding.
“More importantly, government gave assurance when the Acting President met with leadership from various parts of the country that nothing is going to happen to any person. Government has assured that everybody should stay and continue with their normal businesses.”
On whether Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), had violated his bail conditions, Dambazau said it is the court that will decide his fate but that “it is not time yet for him to go back to the court for trial”.
“We have this assumption but I think it is left for the court that gave those conditions to determine whether those conditions were violated or not,” he said.
“If those conditions were violated, the court knows what to do. We cannot assume that those conditions are being violated. Yes, the public knows but the determination of the extent of violation will be left for the court.
“It is not like the police will go after Kanu to arrest him on the grounds that he violated the bail conditions. Kanu will have a day in court and the court will determine his fate because it is the court that gave those conditions.”
2023: North Has Learnt Its Lessons With Buhari — Sheikh Gumi
Islamic scholars, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, has described Nigerians as very sentimental people who do not learn lessons.
In an interview with Sunday Sun, the Islamic scholar spoke about the 2023 elections, President Muhammadu Buhari and what is going on in the country.
Speaking on the coming 2023 elections, Gumi said stability is what is important now and not regional politics.
He explained that Nigeria is not about who leads from which region. He said what Nigeria needs is a crop of smart and intelligent Nigerians and it has nothing to do with whether the person is from the north, south, east or west.
According to him, the north has learnt its lessons with President Buhari. He said: “The north has learnt its lessons. Now, north is worse hit with Buhari. Jonathan was building 150 Almajiri schools, nine universities in the north. He was doing things. This Kaduna-Abuja rail, although the late President Umar Yar’Adua started it. So, let’s have somebody who can do it.”
Listing the qualities of the kind of leader Nigeria needs, he said such a person must be alert, intelligent, not take revenge, be forgiving, rehabilitate and not kill or imprison.
He added that the person’s mind should not be about catching people, but correcting them.
Asked if he has noticed any difference in the country since its return to democratic rule in 1999, he said there is development in the world as technology has made things better. He, however, said there is retrogression in government.
“Things are supposed to improve because science and technology have brought development close to the people. Government is retrogressing simply because we don’t have the right people in the right place and at the right time. Nigeria’s situation now is worse,” he added.
We Won’t Declare Kalu’s Seat Vacant — Senate
The Senate on Friday ruled out the possibility of declaring vacant, the seat of its Chief Whip, Senator Orji Kalu, following his conviction by a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.
Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment over a N7.65bn fraud charges against him since 2007 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The judgment was delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris, 12 years after the EFCC filed the suit against him.
Kalu was convicted alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Jones Udeogu, who served under him as the director of finance and account at the Abia State Government House in Umuahia.
Reacting to the calls on the leadership of the Senate to declare his seat vacant, the Spokesperson for the red chamber, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, said it was not possible.
He said such a request would only be considered after the embattled senator had explored all the legal options available to him without success.
Akwashiki argued that the constitution of Nigeria does not mandate the Senate President to unilaterally declare the seat of any senator facing prosecution or convicted by a lower court, vacant.
He said, “The Senate has no reason to declare his seat vacant. This is not the first time that such a thing would happen.
“There is no provision in the constitution that says the seat of any senator facing prosecution or convicted at a lower court should be declared vacant.
“He still has the opportunity to appeal the case.
“Even the tenure of a former governor Joshua Dariye, who has been in prison for some time now, ran its course until the end of the 8th National Assembly. Nobody declared his seat vacant.
“The Senate President cannot declare the seat of Kalu vacant. It is against the law.
“Tell those who are canvassing such things that there is nothing like that, it is a non-issue,” the Senate spokesperson added.
On whether Kalu will continue to receive salaries while in prison, Akwashiki said the National Assembly bureaucracy determines the payment of senators based on the template from the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission.
N40m Allegedly Stolen In Bayelsa Govt House
Not less than N40 million was on Friday, December 6, declared missing in the office of Ebizi Ndiomu-Brown, the deputy chief of staff to the Bayelsa state Government House.
The Nation reports that about seven policemen and officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been arrested and detained as possible suspects linked to the development at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the state police command.