Nastura Sheriff Nastura Sharif, chairman of the board of trustees (BoT) of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), has been arrested by the police in connection with the protest against the insecurity in the north.
On Tuesday, some members of the group protested in Katsina, calling on Aminu Masari, the governor, to resign if he could not guarantee the security of lives.
The group also urged President Buhari to immediately relieve the service chiefs of their jobs, threatening to mo- bilise citizens for a massive demonstration until the government is completely shut down if killings in the region do not stop within 14 days.
In a statement on Wednesday, Aminu Adam, the group’s director of operations, said the police arrested Sharif after “the peaceful protest”.
He explained that after the protest, Sanusi Buba, the state commissioner of police, invited leaders of the group for an interactive session in his office.
Adam said five member of the group, including himself and Sharif, had honoured a police invitation after which theb group’s leader was detained.
“After the protest ended peacefully, the Katsina state police commissioner, Mr. Sanusi Buba, invited us to his office for an interaction during which he told us that the Inspector General of Police wanted to see Sharif,” he said.
“The commissioner handed us to a team of policemen, headed by the OC (officer in charge), federal operations bureau (FOB), who led us to Abuja.
“We drove from Katsina to Abuja with the police team in a white bus and a hilux. However, on getting to force headquarters in Abuja, they told us that Sharif is under arrest for the protest and they put him in detention.”
Frank Mba, force public relations officer, neither responded to calls nor responded to text messages as of the time this report was filed.
Meanwhile, the presidency yesterday berated the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) over disparaging comments it made against Buhari’s administration on its handling of the security situation in the country. The presidency cautioned the youth groups against feeding the media with unreasonable ideas capable of undermining the government.
The presidency said no government had done more to entrench the tenets of democracy and freedom of speech in Nigeria than the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Garba Shehu, in a statement insisted that the current administration had done more to curtail and beat back terrorists more than any other government in Nigeria ever did.
He said the fact that the CNG is freely able to transmit its unguarded comments to the media in the hope they will be widely reported is a testament to the freedom of expression and media liberty that exists in our country today.
“Equally, the fact that the government is issuing this statement in response to the puerile message is a testament that today Nigeria is a country where disagreements can be aired publicly through the press, not through less gentlemanly methods used in the past.
“Yet when groups such as the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) put out statements claiming that Democracy Day holds no purpose and the government somehow wishes for the northern states to be struggling, it is embarrassing not for the government but for the group, its members and their sponsors.