NIGERIA – The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has expressed its reservation on the issues discussed at the just-concluded meeting of northern governors and traditional leaders, elected representatives and top federal government officials from the North.
The groups lamented that a meeting of that magnitude only dwelt on End SARS and social media, and neglected the more serious issues of security, youth restiveness, unemployment, poverty, dwindling fortunes of agriculture and general economic decline in the region.
A statement on the aftermath of End SARS protests and other matters, issued by CNG’s spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said, “We are disappointed that such a meeting should lack the courage to make clear pronouncements on the unprovoked attacks on northerners and their properties at a time when their southern counterparts are proposing claims of trillions of Naira in compensation for their people.”
The groups said they are disappointed that the meeting lacked the requisite statesmanship to define the northern position with regards to the falsified reports around the fictitious attacks on Lekki protesters that is causing the nation international worries.
The Coalition of Northern Groups added that, “It is disappointing that the meeting felt to see as priority the need to send a delegation to ascertain the extent of damage and to console the affected northerners in the southern states.”
The groups explained that they are disappointed that the meeting did not have the presence of mind to discuss the necessity of compensating the innocent northerners who were unnecessarily attacked, assaulted, killed, displaced and deprived.
While hoping that the northern governors and other leaders would rethink that the apparent weak position adopted at the meeting and redeem their failure to articulate a more favourable northern position, the CNG expressed reservations regarding the two committees set up, their stated functions and the all-important issue of implications.
The statement noted that in the past, several committees have been variously charged with tasks of recommending the way forward for the region, regretting that a lot of the recommendations, viable though they may be, have characteristically been consigned to the dust bin of history.
The statement expressed hope that it would be different, at least this time around, expecting that genuinely patriotic and productive minds would be engaged for meaningful input particularly for the Youth and Civil Society Committee which is expected to engage the youths with a view to addressing their pressing demands to put to rest their agitations.
It extends its condolences and sympathy to all northern communities that suffered casualty in terms of life and properties during the End SARS protests in some parts of country.