We’ll retaliate if southerners kill our people, says Zamfara governor

Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Bello Mohammed Matawalle has warned Southerners against further attacks on northerners in their territories, saying the North might retaliate such attacks when they occur.

The governor’s position is contained in a statement he personally signed on a day the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) warned leaders against utterances that inflame political, religious and ethnic passion in the country.

He said northerners’ lives, dignity and possessions are being threatened by the increasingly “unfriendly South.

“Recent happenings in the country have made it expedient for me, as a political leader and a proud Northerner, to issue this important statement.

“This is not the time to play politics or to play to the gallery, but a time to tell ourselves the real truth, for the benefit of peace and progress of our country and to prevent the looming anarchy that some disgruntled, unpatriotic Nigerians want to drag the nation into.

”Considering the manner we play politics in Nigeria–politics without conscience–the public may expect a statement like this to come from a governor or a leader of the APC, but I choose to make the following statement even as I remain a proud member of the opposition PDP, for the sake of our nation; for peace to reign and in the overall interest of the North.

“Despite what Northerners are experiencing today in many parts of the South-West and South-East in particular, all we hear is the conspiracy of silence from Northern leaders and elites who are supposed to stand firm, in the manner in which other leaders of the South are doing even when they know that their people are at fault. This must not continue.”

Matawalle threatened reprisals from Northerners if they continued to be assaulted in the South.

He added: “As northern leaders, our dignified silence in the face of constant provocation and assault, because of our desire for peace, must not be taken as a sign of weakness.

“Indeed, no community, or region has the monopoly of violence. If Northerners and their means of livelihood will not be protected, accommodated and be dignified anywhere they choose to stay in any part of the South, Southerners should not expect protection from the North as the North has more than what it takes to respond to any kind of aggression and hatred. “

He said there was no justice for Northerners after the recent clash with some Yoruba traders in Shasha in Ibadan, Oyo State.

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