…says security agencies will restore order
…as Bashir Tofa Flays Arrest of Sheriff, Leader of Katsina Protest
… Warns that his continued detention may escalate crisis
By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
As Coalition of Northern Organizations, CNO, warned that youth in Nigeria should desist from politicizing the security situation and instigating an uprising against the government, elder statesman and former Presidential candidate of the defunct NRC ,Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa has described as undemocratic, the detention of Nastura Ashir Shariff.
Shariff was alleged to have led the protest in Katsina, against the continued killings and destruction of properties by bandits in some parts of the state.
According to Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa,” the arrest and detention of Alhaji Nasturah Ashir Sheriff, the leader of the Coalition of Northern Youth, is utterly wrong, undemocratic and a very bad example of intolerance. It is unwise and unjust. Not even during sensible and caring Military Rules, would citizens demonstrate peacefully about a matter that worries the entire country and anyone be arrested. Is this a notice that nobody is allowed to say anything or to express a view, even peacefully? Is this the Democracy Nigeria is showing to the world? We hope not,” he said.
He appealed to the President to immediately order the release of the young man with an apology.
In a widely publicized video where Tofa spoke in Hausa,he predicted that Shariff should be released “before a single match ignites the forest and conflagrate the entire North and eventually the country.”
He said “so many people are angry about so many things. If this collective anger is tickled and pushed by a few who may have started some illegal action somewhere, it will easily spread. The 2011 violence, destruction and death that occurred when it was rumored that Gen.
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Muhammad Buhari was denied his victory will be a child’s play this time around. Nigerians are very angry! Insecurity everywhere, poverty, joblessness and now Covid-19, disease, despair and desperation have eaten deep into people’s patience and good sense. And for the Police or the Security Services to arrest anyone for peaceful demonstration is not only illegal but, probably, a deliberate attempt to dishonor this Government and cause more hatred against it.”
“Just today, because of Nasturah’s uncalled for arrest, I have the nasty and angry, often abusive words, uttered against the President by hitherto his supporters. President Buhari should be very careful. He should begin to know and appreciate his true and sincere friends, and get rid of his enemies, who do tremendous harm to his image and his own future well being and safety. He must remember that in three years, someone else will be President.”
“I, and millions of other Nigerians, condemn the arrest of Nasturah Sheriff and other Nigerians who were either killed or injured simply because they come out to demonstrate and make their views known in a peaceful manner. We demand Nasturah’s immediate release, and all those in detention for such purposes. We are in a Democracy, “he said.
Meanwhile, Coalition of Northern Organizations, CNO,has warned that youth in Nigeria should desist from rising against the government and rise in unison against Nigeria’s common enemies.
While addressing journalists in Kaduna , Comrade Adamu Kabir Matazu, Spokesman of tbe Coalition of Northern Organization,said Nigerians should be careful as unregistered groups have emerged which were allegedly used to heat up the polity.
According to the group , President Muhammadu Buhari was ushered in with a plethora of challenges, principal of which was a steep and steady decline into a full blown insecurity..
” However, it is on record that the government surmounted the challenge and reclaimed the Nigerian territory previously under the full grip of Boko Haram terrorists and ISWAP. This feat was achieved ,thanks to the enormous sacrifice of our gallant security agencies.”
The group said Nigerians should applaud the daily sacrifices of our men and women in uniform who against all odds ,had continued to decisively deal with issues of insecurity ranging from the remnant of Boko haram/ISWAP, armed banditry, rampant kidnapping to other forms of criminality.
” We must dispassionately make an assessment of how far we have come as a nation from where we were, with a view to effectively harnessing the gains recorded and channeling same to achieving sustainable peace to guarantee overall national development”
” This will in turn force down the vicious forces of darkness exerting adversely on our dear nation. We are not also oblivious of the fact that recently there are setbacks and isolated incident of boko haram attacks in Borno state and resurgence of banditry in Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara States which is being unnecessarily amplified by enemies of this nation with active support of political hawks and crisis merchants.”
“Despite acknowledgement of temporary setbacks which our security forces will soon overcome, we shall never allow the politicization of insecurity by those who profit from an atmosphere of chaos and insecurity.”
They alleged that there were groups that specialized in advance fee fraud to extort money by appealing to emotions and escalating the security situation.
“This is a joke taken too far. The principal actors are people without a known job or business but living a life of luxury from the money they make from extortions and installing fear.”
“They are cash and carry activists who run most often than not, unregistered organizations with specialization in political extortions. These characters and their willing collaborators are enemies of peace and security and can sell their birthright for porridge.”
“Coalition of Northern Organization will henceforth, resist and confront where necessary ,all enemies of peace and security across the entire length and breadth of our country by whatever name they are called.
“This is because those who see insecurity issues as opportunity to blackmail our security agencies and draw back the hand of progress will have us to contend with going forward.”
“We call on all patriots to join us in the crusade of freeing Nigeria from the shackles of armed banditry and terrorism by playing our role as active citizens in different categories of our society, whether as Students and Youth Groups, Community Based Organizations, Faith Based Organizations, Women Groups or Traditional Rulers.”
“We must consistently provide our security agencies with intelligence to help them neutralize all emerging threats.
Individuals, Groups and Communities in different localities must come together to form Community Security Taskforce in collaboration and under the supervision of our security agencies in order to protect their communities, pass actionable intelligence, defend their communities and resist the activities of armed bandits, terrorists and other militant groups.”
“Rather than rising against the government, we must rise in unison against our common enemies.”
“We at the Coalition of Northern Organizations (CNO) are convinced beyond reasonable doubt, that the characters involved in such shenanigans are on the payroll of foreign elements with the intention of destablizing our democratically elected government through illegitimate means and under the smokescreen of insecurity. ”
“We make bold to say this is nothing but an act of sedition that must be resisted by all patriots. We are using this medium to warn the organizers of the planned self serving protest to discard the idea and go back to inform their sponsors that this evil machination has failed because the overwhelming majority of Nigerians whose mandate the present administration led by Muhammadu Buhari enjoyed, have rejected them and those who bankrolled them during the last general election,” they said.
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