The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has expressed regret at the detention of its chairman, Board of Trustees, Nastura Ashir Shariff, at the Police Force headquarters, Abuja.
CNG alleged that Shariff is detained on an allegation of insulting Adesina without minding that Adesina was the first to insult and denigrate the person of a respected northern elder, Professor Anglo Abdullahi which provoked widespread outrage.
CNG Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said in a statement in Kaduna on Wednesday and made available to Newzandar News explained that Shariff was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and moved to Abuja shortly after the peaceful protests in Katsina against the killings of helpless citizens by bandits.
CNG explained, “After the protests, which was universally adjudged to be very peaceful as reported on both electronic versions of the international and national media, Shariff led the national excos of CNG to the Katsina Police Commissioner to show appreciation for the professional conduct of the police throughout the peaceful assembly.
“After thanking him and handing him the petition for onward transmission to the Governor because he received the protesters at the Government House, the CP informed the delegation that the IG wanted to see Shariff in Abuja. Shariff accepted to go and see the IG and even cancelled prior appointments in Kano but the CP said that arrangements have been made to convey him to Abuja.”
Suleiman further explained in the statement that He (Sharrif) agreed to be conveyed by the police and other members of the CNG executives went with him in the same vehicle. On arrival late last night, he was made to make a statement which he did and was thereafter detained.
The statement said that the three other executives were asked to go and come back today (Wednesday) for further processes for his release. They’ve been there since morning, adding, “The feedback we have been receiving from our men on ground is that Shariff is being accused of insulting Femi Adesina, a presidential media aide and protests.”
CNG said it is shocked that a government which is bound to observe the true tenets of democracy can go all out to breach a people’s constitutionally guaranteed civil right to publicly and peacefully call the government to account for its handling of security and citizen safety.
It noted that the protest, as records show, was the most peaceful ever in recent times which was even confirmed by the Katsina police commissioner who received the protesters at the government house.
“It is therefore, really shocking that people who happen to be the major beneficiaries of public protests would refuse to tolerate peaceful protests by others even where those protests are to challenge wanton and unwarranted killings of innocent citizens,” CNG lamented.
CNG urged its supporters to remain calm while its team of lawyers looked into the matter.
The groups called on the international community, global human rights actors to note the situation.
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