Groups, under the umbrella of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) have vowed to resume their peaceful protest in Kano state over the insecurity in northern Nigeria despite thugs attack on some of their members on Thursday.
They promised to return to streets today (Saturday) over the level of insecurity bedevilling the region.
The national chairman of the coalition, Balarabe Rufa’i, who confirmed this on Friday during a press briefing in Kano, also said the they have lost confidence in the political elites of the region over what they described as their indifference to the demands of the protesters.
“Despite and in spite of these odds, the CNG hereby reassures the northern public and other northern regional organizations that have shown decent level of patriotism and love for their region and fellow citizens that we are more than ever committed to the noble protest across all the 19 northern states.
“We therefore, for the avoidance of doubt categorically declare that the protests would resume in Kano on Saturday, 17th October, 2020 and shall persist all across northern Nigeria until all symptoms of the general and pervasive insecurity that is being experienced is completely ended,” CNG said.
The group also alleged that the thugs were hired by the state government and national secret security outfits to provoke them, adding that more than 40 innocent protesters, including journalists were attacked by heavily armed hoodlums midway into their processions.
CNG alleged that it was only the Kano protesters that were attacked despite holding it in more than 11 northern state capitals.
They promised to continue the protest over problems of insecurity, inflation, rising poverty and continuous closure of universities and will stop at no cost until their demands are met.
CNGalso said, “The politicians behind the attacks who obviously benefit in one way or the other by the bleeding in the north, are apparently not happy that the CNG has so far remained the single, most reliably consistent voice against the ongoing slaughter of and general neglect of northern Nigeria.
“CNG unequivocally repudiate all attempts the northerner’s inalienable rights to freedom of association and expression as guaranteed by Nigerian laws and several international conventions and treaties to which Nigeria is a signatory,” the group added.
The Kano state government, through the state’s Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Graba however said it is not even aware of the protests, talk less of hiring thugs to attack them.
Meanwhile, another group of National Youths Council of Nigeria (NYCN) Kannywood celebrities and other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the state have faulted the protests as unnecessary.
The groups in a press briefing in Kano on Friday led by NYCN national deputy president, Abubakar Muhammad General warned that the protesters are unnecessarily overheating the polity by turning the peaceful demonstrations to violence thereby setting the country to the paths of Syria, Libya and Egypt.
General said the attacks were avoidable had the groups by sitting in a roundtable for further discussion and resolution, without necessarily endangering the lives of their members through the protests.
Both groups however said there are in support of the recent reform of the policing system in the country as part of the measures taken to end insecurity in the country.
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu earlier this week announced the disbandment of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and replacing it with Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) after series of protest against the unit’s alleged brutality.