From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Pan-Arewa organisation Northern Elder Forum (NEF) has condemned the disruption of its security meeting in Kaduna State by suspected hoodlums, describing the act as cowardly, crude and an abuse of their fundamental human rights.
NEF Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in a statement on Monday, noted that the group would not be deterred from discussing the worsening security in the region.
The statement read:
‘Northern Elders Forum (NEF) condemns in the strongest possible terms, the attack by hired hoodlums on a peaceful and legitimate meeting convened by Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) to discuss appropriate responses to the outrageous abduction of schoolchildren in Katsina.
‘It is important to mention that the meeting was also being attended by older Nigerians who had given their entire lives to the service of the nation.
‘This cowardly and crude attempt to muffle national outrage at increasingly deteriorating security of life and property in Nigeria will mark a new low in the state of the nation.
‘Nigerians will note another threat that will increase the number of threats they are having to live with or die under.
‘This the threat at their rights to legally organize and express opinions over the manner they live.
‘Whoever is behind this attack needs to know that more meetings will continue to be held all over Nigeria to demand that those with the responsibility to secure us do so.
‘Nigerians will never submit to fear of criminals and the incompetence and indifference of elected leaders. Those behind this attack should employ more hoodlums because voices will rise until the Kankara schoolchildren are freed and the siege on our lives is ended.’
The spokesman ‘calls on the Coalition of Northern Groups to sustain their efforts through all legal means until the North is safe and secure again. It calls on all Nigerians to unite behind the demand for a secure nation, and exercise their rights to assemble and express opinions as the law allows.’