…says politicians benefiting from insecurity working against Sheikh Gumi’s amnesty proposal for bandits
…Backs AUFCDN’s move to suspend movement of foodstuffs to South over attacks on Northerners
By Luminous Jannamike
Members of the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, have blamed the country’s security challenges on those they called “desperate southern political power seekers”.
The group also sensed a weakness in the Federal Government’s will to deal decisively with the instigators of the insecurity being felt, especially by Northerners in their region and elsewhere across the country.
CNG spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, stated this at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
The group didn’t give specific details on how the southern politicians instigated the security challenges, but maintained that the North was not unaware of their design and would not succumb to any form of power shift under threat.
Therefore, Suleiman stated that the North’s response to the situation was an unwillingness to remain at the receiving end of any attempt to force a transfer of power by shattering its cohesion or by agitating for the violent breakup of the country.
The CNG spokesman said, “We note the alarming rise in political militancy by a desperate self-serving section of political leaders that believe the only path to gaining the presidency is by threatening other sections of the country and in particular, targeting the overall viability of Northern Nigeria.
“The general and pervasive insecurity being felt by northerners in the North, and elsewhere across the country, manifesting with the deliberate profiling and systematic alienation of particularly the Hausa/Fulani ethnic group essentially represents a plot by unscrupulous politicians to force a transfer of power by whatever means and tactics.
“The indiscriminate attacks on northerners that have left untold numbers of dead and displaced persons are symptoms of the disquiet in the southern plank that has been exacerbated by political opportunism and power corruption in build up to the 2023 presidential ambition of southern political interests and their northern collaborators.
“The resurgence of ceaseless antagonism against the North is also part of a wider agenda aimed at causing greater instability and rendering the country practically ungovernable, and the setting in of anarchy as the strategies employed to achieve the results that the coupists of the First Republic failed to realise.
“This is compounded by the failure of the federal government to deal decisively with the instigators of these dastardly acts of ethnic cleansing which leaves the only conclusion that authorities have lost the political will and some of the necessary courage to enforce the fundamental rights of all citizens to live and flourish anywhere without discrimination or molestation.
“The persistence of the general insecurity across the land with the targeted devastation of northern Nigeria, are in the continuum of a southern agenda with its roots in our history and pursued vigorously since the onset of the Boko Haram insurgency more than a decade ago.
“We invite the desperate southern political power seekers who feel that their only path to gaining the presidency in 2023 or in the future, is by fomenting trouble and inciting hatred against other components of the country, to note that their actions will not go unnoticed and no section of the country, would succumb to any form of shift of power under threat.
“All those self-appointed enemies of the North who have no other useful vocation other than attacking northerners and their properties in the under the slightest of pretexts, should know that the North is not unaware of their design and shall no longer remain passive under such deliberate and sustained attacks and unwarranted provocation.
“We salute the decorum, decency, morality, accommodation, civilization and etiquette shown by northerners whose refusal to be goaded into reacting to the assault clearly justified the South as the volatile and violent part of the country.
“We call the attention of all northerners to note that the drivers of the unrest and disturbances going on in the North and elsewhere are mere antics antics for political ascendancy by attempting to force a transfer of power by shattering the northern cohesion.
“It is quite expeditious therefore for the North to anticipate and prepare to checkmate the unfolding maneuvres of such ambitious politicians as Bola Tinubu and his ilk who would stop at nothing in their quest for power.
“We therefore alert the North to raise its level of vigilance to avoid the pitfalls set by this type of politicians who are hell bent on using their internal conspirators and money to attain political power even by riding on the agony of the innocent.”
CNG also noted that those working against the proposal for engagement towards peaceful resolution of the security challenges by singling out Sheikh Ahmed Gumi for the attacks were those benefitting from the conflicts.
He added, “We align directly with Sheikh Ahmed Gumi’s position with regards to constructive engagement, opportunity for amnesty leading to reorientation, reintegration and re-assimilation of those who embrace peace within a reasonable timeframe after which, the resort can be made to force in crushing the recalcitrant ones.
“In this regard, we urge the Sheikh and his team not to be distracted by the forces of destabilization within and outside the North while calling for an expanded framework for negotiations with the involvement of all willing northern Governors and other significant components of the northern society in order to achieve final demobilization and disarmament.
“Successive governments have found it expeditious to establish structures like OMPADEC, NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta, the Amnesty Programme, etc aimed at resolving a specific set of challenges affecting specific communities in the South.
“There is therefore no justification whatsoever to resist, or even question the extension of similar special initiatives to address the needs of herdsmen if these will lead to lasting peace and stability.
“It is important to place on record that all those working against the proposal for engagement towards peaceful resolution of the conflict by singling Sheikh Ahmed Gumi for attacks and irreverent treatment, are those who directly benefit from the conflict through proceeds from the supply of arms and drugs, or remotely, in the hope of riding to power on its back.”
The CNG also backed the resolve of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuffs and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) to suspend further movement of goods to the South over the attacks on northerners, especially in the South-west.
“We also stand solidly behind the resolve of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuffs and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria to suspend further movement of goods to the South to press for compensation for losses suffered in the attacks as well as to extract a solid guarantee for the future safety of northerners in the South,” CNG said.
The group commended the Northern Governors’ Forum, under Governor Simon Bako Lalong, for embarking on a solidarity visit to estranged northern communities, especially in Ibadan of Oyo state.
“We welcome the NGF’s insistence on restitution to be made where northerners were made to suffer losses as a result of the deliberate actions of perpetrators of crimes against them.
“While, we are in alignment with the call for compensation for victims of the violence, we however insist it is not enough, without the prompt arrest and diligent prosecution of both perpetrators, instigators and sponsors of those heinous crimes,” Suleiman added.