Pan-Arewa socio-political organisations, under the aegis the Coalition of Northern Groups, on Sunday faulted the comment by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo against the Igbo secession plot for an independent Republic of Biafra, describing it as a hypocritical attempt to fool the nation.
While reminding Ohanaeze that the Igbo “can only fool some people sometimes, but cannot fool all the people all the time,” the CNG said it was “quite aware of the renewed antics of the protégés of those that assassinated our forefathers, their foot soldiers from other parts of the South and cronies from the North which we are ready to resist and expose.”
The CNG reminded Ohanaeze and all Igbo leaders that, “Nigerians are not in a hurry to forget their betrayal of the trust and accommodation accorded them despite the atrocities they caused in 1966.”
The spokesperson for the CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, in a statement titled, ‘Biafra: CNG tackles Ohanaeze, says North can’t be fooled again,’ added, “It is no longer in doubt that the current violent agitations and disturbances over Biafra is clearly an agenda with a wholesome backing from every component of the Igbo community in Nigeria and in the Diaspora, including Ohanaeze.
“It is therefore, the peak of hypocrisy for the Ohanaeze at this point, to attempt to distance itself from the ongoing violence and crime against humanity, whereas it has been silent all the while northerners living in the South-East are daily harassed, attacked, murdered in cold blood, and their properties destroyed.
“Instructively, the same Ohanaeze was conspiratorially silent when Ahmed Gulak, a prominent Northern figure was assassinated on the streets of Imo by Igbo-backed militia of the IPOB and ESN.”
The CNG added that hundreds of northerners had suffered in the hands of the “increasingly emboldened Igbo terrorists since 2017, though largely deliberately under-reported by the traditionally hostile section of the Southern Nigerian media whose intrinsic bias manifests whenever matters that affect the North are reported or commented on.”
The CNG added, “The North will no longer remain passive under such deliberate and sustained attacks on its people, nor be disposed any longer to relating with the Igbo as federating partners and shall take every measure to realize Biafra so that the Igbo will leave and peace would reign again.” (Punch)
The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has said it would begin non-stop protests against the wave of insecurity in the Northern region on Thursday.
The plan, according to the group, aimed at drawing the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari and the 19 northern states governors to the plight of the region.
CNG said the ineptitude and an apparent failure of elected and appointed leaders from the North to either protect the lives and property of northerners or address the myriad distresses the region faced had pushed them to the wall.
Explaining that the government has failed woefully in many fronts, the group argued that the authorities appear bent on sustaining the hikes in electricity tariffs.
According to the CNG, it also appears President Buhari and the governors are not keen on resolving the lingering dispute with the university lecturers.
The CNG noted that it was no longer an exaggeration that the security situation in the country and in particular in the North had deteriorated, while the authorities did not deem it fit to extend the swift spirit deployed against FSARS into security the North.
The group told the President point blank that he has abandoned hundreds of thousands of people in northern communities exposed to insurgents and bandits’ attack.
It, therefore, urged the citizens (northerners), who would participate in the peaceful protest to conduct themselves peacefully, while urging the government to respect their rights to protest.
Briefing journalists in Abuja, the spokesman of CNG, Abdulazeez Suleiman, said, “The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has followed developments around the bold and necessary steps taken by Nigerian citizens to call attention to Police brutality, the deteriorating national security and other pressing concerns.
“The CNG notes the appreciative progression of the citizens’ action that climaxed with government’s swift response to one of the concerns raised with the scrapping of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police, and its immediate replacement with Special Weapon And Tactics Team (SWAT)
“In the unfolding scenario, the CNG hereby inevitably arrives at the following observations and inferences:
“That while the southern elected and appointed leaders and representatives are quick to identify with their people at the time of need, their counterparts from the North, including the President, the Senate President, Senators, Rep members, governors, state legislators and other government appointees would rather abandon the hundreds of thousands of people in northern communities exposed to crime, lawlessness and insecurity in the hands of bandits, insurgents, kidnappers, rapists rustlers, and other violent criminals without any form of protection.
“That it is contradictory that despite several protests and pleas northerners have made, the authorities never deemed it fit to extend the swift spirit deployed against FSARS into securing the North, or addressing the myriad distresses faced by northerners.
“That the authorities appear bent on sustainig the harsh, unacceptable regime of exploitative hikes in electricity tariffs for which the North shall bear the brunt more than other parts of the country.
“That the federal government appears not keen on resolving the lingering dispute with the Academic Staff Union to enable the recommencement of university education.”
“In the light of the foregone observations, the CNG has no other option but to direct the extension of the protests to all northern states, commencing from Thursday, October 15, 2020.
“By this, all CNG state chapters and student wings are mandated to resume the mobilization of responsible sections of the civil society, NGOs, women groups, professional associations, artisans and concerned parents in their respective states for the continuation of our protests started in Katsina state in June.”
CNG will lead the protest to: “Demand the federal government to immediately declare a state of emergency on security and take practical steps to end all manifestations of insecurity in northern Nigeria and other parts of the country.
“Demand thorough reorientation of the entire police force and its empowerment by way of additional personnel, modern training and adequate equiptment to be able to reclaim its universal internal security function. .
“Mount pressure on leaders to show real commitment to protecting lives of citizens, ending the prolonged closure of our universities, reconsidering hiked commodity prices, reducing youth unemployment, and checking the rise in poverty level.
“Publicly condemn and pass a vote of no confidence on those office holders and elected leaders who have abandoned the bulk of northerners to the mercy of a vicious insurgency, destructive banditry, rape and sexual assaults, violent communal clashes amidst mounting poverty and entrenched fear of widespread kidnappings for ransom.
“To declare the agreement reached by labour with the government on new electricity tariff unacceptable and demand the immediate, unconditional reversal to the old rates.”
Suleiman noted that while CNG welcomed the creation of the SWAT to replace SARS, it urged the government to expedite action in improving the professionalism of the personnel drafted into SWAT
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has told the international community to blame Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) if there is an outbreak of violence in the country. The coalition also accused Igbo religious and political leaders of issuing half-hearted condemnations of the activities IPOB, the reason for which it has made fresh formal complaints about the IPOB leader’s conduct to international bodies.
Among those whom the CNG said it has alerted through official communication are the
President of the United Nations General Assembly,
President of the United Nations Security Council for the month of August,
President of the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR).
Others are Chairman of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM),
President of the African Court of Peoples and Human Rights in Banjul,
The Gambia; Chairman of the African Commission on People’s and Human Rights, Speaker of the Pan-African Parliament,
Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security,
Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Chairman and Executive Board members of the National Commission on Human Rights.
“We are compelled to insist on this line of action based on our belief that the sole motivating factor behind Kanu’s action is to bring about a major ethnic and religious crisis across the country. While we faithfully await action from the Federal Government of Nigeria and the international community, we initiated a series of town hall meetings in major cities of the three geopolitical zones of the North,” stated CNG.
The group recalled that it met in June when it examined the impediments to national integration and identified IPOB’s agitation for Biafra as the major factor currently impeding Nigeria’s stability. As a result, CNG said it took a position, through the Kaduna Declaration, which contained an ultimatum to Igbo people resident in the North to leave by 1 October. The declaration also contained a similar order to Northerners resident in the South-East to quit by the same date.
The coalition said it followed this up with a petition to the Secretary-General of the United Nations as well as major foreign diplomatic missions.
“We drew attention to the emerging trends in the country that are pregnant with complications and unforeseen consequences. We can proudly say, today, that this objective has to a large extent been achieved as the Biafran issue, which was neglected for 50 years, has now been brought to the front burner of our national discourse,” CNG added.
As a result of its initiatives, CNG explained that it has held meetings with many peace-loving groups, agencies, religious, cultural and traditional leaders with a view to achieving peace and stability.
Among those it met, disclosed CNG, were the Sultan of Sokoto, Northern Governors Forum and the National Peace Committee, which CNG charged with the responsibility of harmonizing previous and future efforts to resolve the crisis.
The first of such meetings was held in Kano on 3 August. At the end of the meeting, CNG said it opened a dialogue with Igbo leaders in the 19 Northern states. The dialogue was facilitated by the State Security Services and supported by the Kano State government.
On account of the new the new lines of communication, CNG said it will make definite pronouncements at an international press conference in Abuja on Monday, August 14, 2017.
“We appreciate the concern of the State Security Services, Kano Command, in facilitating peace processes and the government of Kano state for its support and cooperation,” CNG said.