Okwe Obi, Abuja and Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), yesterday, said it would commence an indefinite protest today in the 19 northern states over rising insecurity, economic hardship and prolonged closure of universities in the region.
The group accused the Federal Government, President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and other northern leaders of abandoning the region, as opposed to southern leaders who they claimed were always there for their people and even stood up against the operations of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
CNG spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, said the protest would be tagged #Endinsecuritynow, and would be sustained until the Federal Government met their demand for the declaration of a state of emergency on security in the north, among others.
“It is contradictory that despite several protests and pleas by northerners, 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.
“The authorities appear bent on sustaining 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. “The Federal Government appears not keen on resolving the lingering dispute with the Academic Staff Union to enable the recommencement of university education.
“The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has followed developments around the globe and necessary steps taken by Nigerian citizens in some parts of the country including some northern states to call attention to the deteriorating national security and other pressing concerns around the dwindling economy, prohibitive commodity prices, rising inflation amidst mounting poverty and prolonged stay at home by university students.
“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).
“CNG notes also the reassuring cooperation and solidarity extended by governors and elected representatives to the protesters in mostly the southern parts of the country and Zamfara and Borno state in the North.