Leader of Arewa Consultative Youth Forum, Shettima Yerima, has declared that he is defending the North against the insult and blackmail of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnmadi Kanu by asking Igbos to vacate the North.

Yerima made the declaration while responding to claims by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, saying he, Yerima, should not be taken seriously because he resides in Lagos.

Yerima said the activist lawyer still lives in the past and was seeking cheap publicity.

The Co-Convener of the Coalition of Northern Groups stressed that he has the backing of Northern elders.

Speaking with the Punch, Yerima said, “The Shettima Falana knows in Lagos is not the same person in the North. I challenge him to come to Kaduna and ask about who I am. And I challenge him to go to Ekiti to contest a local government seat. I am for and with the North. I am not a coward.

“I am protecting the interests of my people and I get support from my elders. Falana is living in the past. I spend more time in the North than in Lagos.

“And, when did it become a crime that a northerner cannot issue a statement in the North though he stays in Lagos? I am a Nigerian. Shouldn’t Falana be castigating the man who said he hates Nigerians and doesn’t want his people to remain a part of Nigeria? I am in touch with my people.

” I have followers; does Falana have supporters? How many times has he contested elections in Ekiti State and lost? Despite his level of intelligence he hasn’t won an election in his state. Leading your people is not about propaganda and noise-making; it is about facing reality.

“As I speak to you now I am in Kaduna. Is there a law that says being a Nigerian I cannot do so? While he’s busy pursuing personal interests, I am defending my people against the insults and blackmail of one Igbo called Nnamdi Kanu and his co-travellers.

“What has Falana done about the insults IPOB heaped on the Yoruba? He is seeking cheap publicity.

“I challenge him to come and see how I am living as a king in Kaduna – I am being celebrated. I am here to defend the integrity of my people. Does he consider Nnamdi Kanu a foreigner – someone who has lived for many years abroad? I have my roots in Zaria and I go home regularly. When last did Falana visit his home in Ekiti?

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