In an effort to stave off the aftermath of the October 1 quit notice issued by Arewa Youth Consultative Forum to easterners residing in the northern part of the country, political and opinion leaders from northern zone met in Abuja on Wednesday.
Those who attended the meeting included Governors, represented by the Governor of Borno State and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Kashim Shettima, a group of northern elders and key leaders of the coalition of Arewa groups. .
The meeting, it was learnt, deliberated on the quit notice given to the indigenes of South-East to vacate the northern region by October 1.
A statement by spokesman to Governor Shettima, Isa Gusau, said the meeting was approved by northern Governors .
A statement after the meeting read: “The meeting, which is the third since July, was at the instance of some northern Governors who mandated Shettima to engage the coalition with a view to preventing possible outbreak of violence in the event hoodlums take advantage of quit notice to perpetuate violence by the time the ultimatum expires on October 1.”
“The meeting was attended by members of the Northern Elders Forum, namely Prof. Ango Abdullahi, Alhaji Sani Daura, Air Marshall Al-Amin Daggash (retd.), AVM Mukhtar Mohammed (retd.), Prof. Yima Sen and Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed who represented the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation.
“Leaders of Arewa groups, Yerima Shettima, Ashir Sherrif, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, Aminu Adam, Balarabe Rufai and leaders of other groups in the coalition were also in attendance.
“The meeting ended on positive note while the Arewa coalition is expected to meet members of the AbdulSalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee who invited them for a meeting” Gusau added.
The governor had held three separate meetings with leaders of the Arewa coalition in Kaduna, Abuja and Maiduguri before holding Wednesday’s meeting that included elders.
Gusau quoted the northern groups as saying that their action was in response to insults against the north by agitators for the Republic of Biafra led by Nnamdi Kanu.
He said northern elders also discussed other problems in the region, especially the Boko Haram insurgency, backwardness in education and children in the streets.