BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN Kaduna
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has called for thorough investigation of the allegations raised in some viral media clips that the nation’s security services were behind the hoodlum attacks on the protesters leading to unnecessary bloodshed by providing open cover to the attackers.
CNG who made the call while addressing a press conference in Kaduna noted that the last couple of weeks, had seen sparks of accumulated citizen anger vented in the form of protests in many states and cities across the country.
The statement read by the Coalition’s spokesperson Abdul-Azeez Suleiman said, “the northern version of the protests that centred around securing the region from incessant bandit attacks, insurgent killings, kidnappings and other security challenges that have made lives of our people virtually valueless, were generally regulated and properly coordinated.
“As other protests became uncoordinated and the situation deteriorated, the Coalition of Northern Groups opted for an immediate suspension of the #EndInsecurityNow protests in the whole of Northern Nigeria to forestall the setting in of hostile conditions that will worsen the state of insecurity in which our people live, and divert attention from our goal, which is basically to urge government to take firm and immediate steps to arrest the bleeding in the North”.
CNG observed that the presumed aim of the #EndSARS protests has been subverted and turned into an avenue for the venting of pent up tribal and ethnic jealousies in some parts of the southern region.
“That reported targeting of people from a particular section of the country for attacks and irreverent treatment as part of the ugly fallout of the protests represents a mega and clandestine plot to provoke retaliations that would result in further disturbances and security breaches”
While the group said it recognises the need to deepen the rule of law and the rights of citizens to engage in peaceful protest, it however deemed it unwarranted for protests to be manipulated towards anarchy for whatever reasons.
CNG therefore condemned in totality all manifestations of lawlessness that potentially lead to greater unrest and breakdown of public order in the guise of protests.
” We emphatically repudiate the reported attacks on innocent people particularly northerners residing in southern Nigerian states variously blamed on #EndSARS protesters or the security services directly and by proxy.
” We urge all northerners living in the North and wherever the live as minorities in any part of the country to remain calm and refuse to be provoked into any form of altercations or retaliation for the reported attacks.
“We frown at the skewed recognition by the international community of the more violent segment of the protests and neglecting the more germane and more peacefully executed protests against the regular and persistent killings in northern Nigeria.
CNG restated their commitment to the peaceful pursuit of reparation for all northerners who in one way or another fell victim of any loss to life, personal injury and damage to property, adding that nowhere in both our laws and international law are protests allowed to infringe on the rights of other citizens.