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No, northern youth leader didn’t give new western Nigeria security network ultimatum

“We are giving the Yorubas at least from now to January 20 to dissolve that security outfit or we go into a full-blown war,” says a Facebook post from 11 January 2020.

The post says that the statement was made by Yerima Shettima, the leader of the Arewa Youth Congress, also known as the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum. It includes a photograph of Shettima.

According to the post, Shettima said “we have the Nigeria police and the army who are designated to do the works of security in this country” and warned that if Yorubas “don't dissolve that outfit, there will be WAR in this country”.

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum describes itself as a “non-political, gender and ethno-religious friendly umbrella organisation”, inspired by the youth of the northern region of Nigeria to promote “peace, national integration, socio-economic development through volunteer efforts”.

The Yoruba people are one of the three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria, and mostly live in and dominate the politics of the western part of the country. People living in the north are mostly Hausa-Fulani

The post has attracted several likes and comments on Facebook. But what “outfit” is being referred to and is this really something Shettima said?

New Nigerian security network Operation Amotekun

The Amotekun Operation, also known as the Western Nigeria Security Network, is a new security plan to tackle kidnapping and criminal activities in the South West geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

Local leaders from the region, who are mostly Yoruba, have supported the operation and said it would complement, not replace, police efforts. 

‘Disregard insinuations’ online

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum leader Alhaji Yerima Shettima said in a press release that people should disregard online rumours that the forum condemned the new security operation. 

He said that the new policy would go a long way to promote community policing in the zone.

“I am an advocate of community policing. If I now come out to condemn the inauguration of ‘Amotekun’ in the southwest, that will be counter-productive,” said Shettima, according to a report in the mainstream daily newspaper Punch. 

Shettima has not made any threats of war if Operation Amotekum is not dissolved. The Facebook post claiming he has is spreading false news. – Jennifer Ojugbeli 


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