Chairman Board of Trustees of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), Nastura Ashir Sharif, has been arrested following the protest over killings in Katsina state.
The Coalition Spokesman, AbdulAzeez Suleiman, who confirmed the arrest in a statement said Sharif was arrested in Katsina and taken to Police Headquarters in Abuja.
According to Suleiman, “The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) hereby confirms that Nastura Ashir Sharif, its chairman of the Board of Trustees is currently being detained at the Police Force HQ, Abuja. He was arrested Tuesday afternoon and moved to Abuja shortly after the peaceful protests in Katsina against the killings of helpless citizens by bandits.
“After the protests, which was universally adjudged to be very peaceful as reported on both electronic and print versions of the international and national media, Shariff led the national excos of CNG to the Katsina Police Commissioner to show appreciation for the professional conduct of the police throughout the peaceful assembly.
“After thanking him and handing him the petition for onward transmission to the Governor because he received the protesters at the Government House, the CP informed the delegation that the IG wanted to see Shariff in Abuja. Shariff accepted to go see the IG and even cancelled prior appointments in Kano but the CP said that arrangements have been made to convey him to Abuja.
“He agreed to be conveyed by the police and other members of the CNG executives went with him in the same vehicle. On arrival late last night, he was made to make a statement which he did and was thereafter detained. The three other executives were asked to go and come back today for further processes for his release. They have been there since morning.
“The feedback we have been receiving from our men on ground, says Shariff is accused of insulting Femi Adesina, a presidential media aide and protests.
“CNG is shocked that a government which is bound to observe the true tenets of democracy can go all out to breach a people’s constitutionally guaranteed civil right to publicly and peacefully call the government to account for its handling of security and citizen safety.
“It is regrettable that Shariff is detained on an allegation of insulting Adesina without minding that Adesina was the first to insult and denigrate the person of a respected Northern elder, Professor Ango Abdullahi which provoked widespread outrage.
“The protest, as record shows, was the most peaceful ever in recent times which was even confirmed by the Katsina police commissioner who received the protesters at the Government House.
“It is therefore really shocking that people who happen to be the major beneficiaries of public protests would refuse to tolerate peaceful protests by others even where those protests are to challenge wanton and unwarranted killings of innocent citizens.
“Meanwhile we urge our supporters to remain calm while our team of lawyers look into the matter. We however call on the international community, global human rights actors to note the situation,” Suleiman said.