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The Coalition of Northern Groups, has accused the Buhari administration of oppressing its members at different times for exercising their human right to protest against insecurity.
The spokesperson of the group, Sulaiman AbdulAzeez, said this on Monday while referring to the recent arrest and detention of activist and Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore as a guest on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme.
Sowore was arrested on New Year’s eve for leading a protest in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja against bad governance in the country.
The protest tagged #CrossoverWithProtest, saw many Nigerians holding candles and a placard showing their grievances against the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He said like Mr Sowore, the group’s Board of trustee Chairman was once arrested in a Katsina protest despite giving notice to the police and carrying out a peaceful protest as adjudged by the state’s Commissioner of Police.
“There was a time we protested in Katsina, a protest that was adjudged by even the Commissioner of Police of the state as the most peaceful. We had a procession from the square to the government house where we were received by the Commissioner of police. And we protested the incessant killings, the banditry going on in Northern Nigeria, and Katsina was the epic-centre that time,” AbdulAzeez said.
“We protested, we gave notice of our protest, we served the police headquarters in Abuja, we served the DSS (Department of State Security Services) headquarters in Abuja even though we were not obliged to seek permission from the state for a peaceful protest but we went through all that trouble.
“But at the end, the police had to arrest our board of trustees Chairman, we had to exact the maximum pledger before she was released unconditionally.”
The spokesperson also gave another instance that about two-hundred thugs were sponsored to attack the group in an insecurity meeting.
“And very recently, we were holding a meeting on the same issue of insecurity in Kaduna at the Arewa house, thugs were mobilised to disrupt the meeting and we had about 200 of them wielding dangerous weapons and some of them were even setting fires. We believed it was sponsored.”
“We complained to the Commissioner of police the following day, he said action will be taken but up to this moment, there’s no action taken.
“So we can say that we have been victims of arbitrary of government.”