The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has said that it is satisfied with the recent stand of the South East leaders and Governors on the violent agitation for secession from Nigeria by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network.
The Forum also expressed satisfaction that the Ibo Elders had finally disowned the agitators and called on the elders to take concrete measures to ensure that such agitations came to an end.
This was contained in a Communique signed by the Chairman of ACF, Chief Audu Ogbeh after the National Executive Council Meeting of the Forum in kaduna on Wednesday.
The Communique said that the South East leaders had called on Northern leaders to protect their indigenes who were living in the North.
The Communique read: “We wish to assure them that all Ibos who are living in the North are guaranteed their personal security; sometimes they enjoy a security which even Northerners do not enjoy.
“On the other hand, we have received reports on a daily basis of Northerners, ordinary citizens who are earning their daily life as nail cutters, suya makers, shoe shiners, onion sellers, are being bullied, beaten and even killed.
“We hope these ordinary Northerners are given the same protection we have given the South-Easterners in our midst.
“In the very near future, the Forum hopes to meet with leaders of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Afenifere and South-South leaders to discuss the lingering issues in the country that have tended to pitch ethnic and regional groups against each other.”
On the Economy, the Forum regretted that the high rates of interest charged on bank loans in the country by banks on commercial loans were so high that instead of promoting business, they were killing all indigenous business enterprises.
The Forum was concerned that no business could function in Nigeria or anywhere without a friendly environment of loaning from the banks.
The Communique further read: “We call on the government to intervene because the collapse of businesses has direct links with unemployment and insecurity.
“ACF wants to commend the Federal Government for the effort it is making to improve the state of the infrastructure in the country.
”The fact, however, remains that the northern part of the country, with the largest proportion of land (over 75%) and the highest number of population is definitely not getting its fair share of the new infrastructure being developed”.