By Muhammad Sabiu – Kaduna
Disturbed by the incessant killings in the North, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has concluded arrangements to stage a protest on Tuesday.
This was contained in a statement issued to newsmen in Kaduna on Sunday and signed by the spokesman of the group, Abdulazeez Suleiman.
Advancing reasons for the protest, CNG noted that over the last three weeks the escalation of killings and destruction in most of the Northern states had accentuated region-wide tensions.
It observed that the rise in the spate of violence and bloodshed in Katsina, Borno, Taraba, Sokoto, Kaduna, Zamfara and several other northern communities has become a major trying point for everyone – who has remained detached from the reality.
“As a result, at this time of national reckoning, the entire administration seems out of tune with much, if not all, of the rest of the Nigerian population, necessitating a general opinion shift so fast and deeply.
“The consequences of the events of the last few weeks have, therefore, grown politically, economically, and socially too great to be ignored by any genuine northern stakeholders.
“The administration’s various attempts to reassert public confidence with repeated rhetoric of being on top of the situation, seems increasingly discordant as the violent attacks, killings, kidnaps and looting become more regular with calls to protest becoming overwhelmingly loud and widespread.”
The statement noted that it was based on these developments that CNG felt it owed it a duty to bring all stakeholders to stage a protest, adding that the protest will start from Katsina, being the epicentre of killings in the region, on June 16, 2020.
It stated that on June 20, 2020, the protest will be staged simultaneously in all the other states.
The statement called on citizens of a state who feel obliged to voluntarily stick green leaves on their vehicles or places of business in solidarity as they go about their peaceful normal routines.
“Recognised participants shall be required to observe public health instructions by wearing facemasks in addition to a blue cloth wristbands for identification and avoidance of undue infiltration.
“The progress, impact and government response to this first phase shall be monitored and carefully assessed before deciding on the next line of action.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the CNG stresses here that the protests are absolutely meant to the peaceful exercise of citizens’ constitutional rights, to draw the attention of President Buhari and all levels of authority to the plight of people of the North.
“We urge all participants, other sympathisers, to conduct themselves in a peaceful and responsible manner throughout.
“We also urge governments and security outfits to respect the constitutional rights of citizens to express their opinions peacefully.”