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Friday, 4 December 2015

Onitsha violence: Fear grips northern govs

•‘We can’t afford violence in another part of Nigeria’

From Ismail Omipidan, Kaduna and Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri

GOVERNORS of the 19 northern states yesterday took undisclosed security measures with a view to ensuring that Wednesday’s violence which included burning of places of worship in the commercial city of Onitsha, in Anambra State, does not spread to the northern part of the country.

Speaking on behalf of the 19governors, Borno State Governor and Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, Kashim Shettima whose statement was issued by his spokesman, Isa Gusau, yesterday in Maiduguri, said the Governors, particularly those of major cities, were in touch with one another yesterday and had taken some firm measures which aim at averting any spill-over. Shettima said the governors took the undisclosed measures, following media reports claiming that worship places were touched during Wednesday’s violence in Onitsha.

A three-week-long proBiafra protests turned bloody on Wednesday resulting in the killing of scores and many injured in Onitsha. The pro- testers were pressing for the release of detained Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.

“We condemn the Wednesday crisis in very strong terms. We have been in touch with one another and we have collectively taken firm measures to ensure that the violence doesn’t spread to any part of the 19northern States and we will also be working with our colleagues in the south to nip the crisis in the bud.”

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, has again reiterated that with the present economic realities facing the nation, it has become difficult for state governments to continue to pay the N18,000 minimum wage.

He said it was important that government representatives meet with labour unions to take a decision on whether to review the wage or to downsize.

Yari, who is the governor of Zamfara State, spoke with State House correspondents shortly after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed-doors inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

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