In view of the quit notice issued to the Igbos by northern youths, and speculations making the rounds, that members of the Hausa community in Cross River have deserted the state, leader of the Hausa/Fulani and Muslim community in Cross River, Sarki Salisu Abba Lawan, has debunked such allegation as an unfounded rumour.
According to Lawan, “Cross River is one of the most peaceful states in the country and we dwell peacefully with the people. We are being carried along by the governor who always considers us as equal in his lofty policies and programmes.”
Enumerating areas that the government and people of the state have made their impact felt on their community, Lawan said, “the governor, Prof Ben Ayade, appointed one of us as a special adviser for non indigenes, a feat that has not happened before; and inaugurated the Muslims Pilgrims Board, and things are moving peacefully, no violence, no threat of any kind.”
The Hausa/ Fulani leader disclosed that, “nobody has ever reported any issue of threat and no Hausa man has attempted locking his shop(s) or thinking of relocating from this state because of issues related to Biafra. People are educated and awareness has gone deep into all spheres of life. Nobody will leave a peaceful environment just because of rumour, especially when your present landowners are very receptive.”
He called on the people of Cross River to, as they have always done, “join us in our fasting and prayers period which has taken 15 days already, with two weeks left to round up,” adding that, “most of us will celebrate the end of the spiritual programme here in Calabar because we were born here.”
Going historical, Lawan explained that “This spot you are interviewing me was built by my grandfather, Abubakar Bogobiri, who came to Cross River in 1863. He was the one that ruled the Hausas and this location called Bogobiri was named after him. He gave birth to my father, Sarki Lawan, who died in 2011 and I succeeded him.”
The community leader maintained that, “a place where your grandfather stayed for over 100 years, died and you later succeeded him as a traditional leader is your home,” pointing out that, “we own our houses here, we are not in rented apartments, and we live peacefully with the people, what else will make us seek relocation elsewhere?”
Some members of the community, who also spoke with newsmen, affirmed that Cross River remains not only the most peaceful state in the nation, but has continued to display its love for both indigenes and non-indigenes alike.
In the Haikimekio chairman of the butchers’ association, Alhaji Bala Haikimekio said , “whatever evacuation threat so heard from other places is not and has never been heard in Calabar.”
Haikimekio, who spoke in Hausa language, said, ‘’ we live in harmony with all here. The indigenes buy from our locations while we also buy from their locations).
Owner of Abubakar Tailoring Shop, Abubakar Musa, said “issues of eviction cannot be heard in Calabar because we are one people here. No one has even tried to stay off his business area in Calabar. If you hear that, it is not a Hausa man and not in Calabar.”
A fruit seller, Rabiu Bakwori, said, “if there is eviction notice, the last place you can hear of that is Calabar, and if it gets to Cross River, that means that is the end of the world.”
We have no problems with anyone here. Truly, the peace that exists in this state supersedes all”
The post No exodus of northerners from Cross River —Hausa community leader appeared first on Tribune.