The National President, Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Mr. Yerima Shettima, has said the Thursday meeting of regional militant groups in Owerri, Imo State capital, was not for 2015 politics.
He said it was facilitated to forestall a breakdown of law and order before and after the 2015 general elections.
The meeting, hosted by the Leader, Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, Mr. Ralph Uwazuruike, had Shettimah and Maj. Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha in attendance.
Others included ex-militant and leader, Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Mujahid Asari-Dokubo; the founder of Oodu’a Peoples’ Congress, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun; and Abacha’s son, Mohammed.
Speaking to our correspondent on Friday, Shettima said the meeting was for the general interest of the country. He said there was the need for regional groups to discuss how unity and equality would be maintained in the polity.
He said, “We realised that there is a threat to our unity. It is glaring; it is becoming more obvious and visible than anybody could ever imagine.
“The politicians are busy overheating the polity and some of us believe strongly that if we don’t begin to take measures of extending hands of fellowship to our brothers in other parts of the country, there’s a possibility of pre-election and post-elections violence.”
When reminded of the war threats by Asari-Dokubo over President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election in 2015, Shettima said the threats were reviewed and the ex-militant had realised his mistakes.
While he noted that Asari-Dokubo would not withdraw or apologise for his utterances, he said, “We discussed with him extensively and he now realises there’s hope from the meeting.”
Shettima added, “What we discussed at our meeting was far beyond whether Jonathan is re-elected as President or not; we discussed the unity of the nation and our people, so that there won’t be any violence in the country. Nobody would use any groups or individuals against one another, whether from the North or South.”
Asari-Dokubo, who was a guest on a Channels Television programme, Politics Today, had said in parts, “When some people say they have a right to rule and others don’t have, then there is no sitting on the fence. All of us will have to be in the ring and fight. We cannot leave Goodluck (Jonathan) alone.
“Whether they contest or they don’t. If they say the blood of the dogs and the baboons will be soaked in the streets, or salt water in the streets, we will help them in with blood in the streets.”