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Published On: Thu, Jul 17th, 2014

As northerners in South allege harassment

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From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

Northerners residing in the South have cried out against foul play and alleged harassment by their host communities. They lodged their complains when they visited the Civil Right Congress Headquarters in Kaduna, on Tuesday.

The group, led by the Secretary, Northern Community in Anambra state, Alhaji Shehu Imam, said that since the Boko Haram began their bombings across many states in the North, they have been living in fear and under threat down in the South.

He also expressed worry over the level of intimidation and harassment infringed on them by the host communities.

“It is so serious that if a car knocks down an Igbo person, the people will blame it on the Northern residents and begin to attack them.

Recently, a policeman in Akwa Ibom shot an Igbo boy, but in the end, it was the Northern community that were blamed for the incidence and then subsequently attacked.

“Today, if there is any bomb blast in Kaduna, Kano, Zaria or in any part of the North, we, in Anambra state, especially in Onitsha, will be in trouble, as we face intimidation and fear of attack. It is now better though, since the coming of the new Governor, Willy Obiano. The Governor has tried in checking the activities of the hoodlums who are perpetuating these crimes.

“But we are still calling on our Northern leaders to sensitize the people and let them know that we have no hand in the activities of Boko Haram and we are against it,” he said.

On his part, Francis Salifu, an indigene of Kogi state, who resides in Delta state, said the northern community in Delta were not being harassed before, except about a month ago, when several arrests of immigrants, many of whom are Northerners, were affected.

“But when we complained, our people were released immediately”, he stated.

Head of Hausa residents in Asaba and president of village heads in Delta State, Alhaji Ibrahim Babagero, also bore his mind on the matter, saying northerners living in the South don’t distinguish between Christians and Muslims, as they live together as one.

“If you go to my house now, you will see both Christians and Muslims living there. Just as there are many northerners living in the South, so are many southerners living in the North. So, I am calling on everyone to live in peace, as whatever action you take in one area can affect your brother in another place,” he said.

Earlier, President of Coalition of Civil Right Congress, Comrade Shehu Sani pledged to link the group with the appropriate channels to seek redress on the matter.

Comrade Sani promised to lead the persons to the Kano State Governor, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso and later to the Chairman Northern States Governors Forum, Alhaji Aliyu Babangida for immediate intervention on the matter.

 

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