The Coalition of Northern Groups has said it will embark on a mass protest across the 19 states in the North after operatives of the Department of State Services reportedly arrested its Board of Trustees’ Chairman, Nastura Shariff, and National Coordinator, Balarabe Rufai.
The CNG Spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, stated that the two officials were picked up by suspected operatives of the DSS after they also prevented them from holding a press conference scheduled to hold at the Nigerian Air Force Club in Kaduna State.
In a statement on Thursday evening, the CNG said it had contacted the Kaduna State command of the security agency, which insisted it didn’t carry out the arrests.
He said, “We wish to inform the public that as at 6.30pm of Thursday, the BOT Chairman of CNG, Nastura Ashir Shariff and the National Coordinator, Balarabe Rufai’s whereabouts remain unknown.
“Our people who have been trailing the arrest vehicles reported that they lost the trail at Jere on the way to Abuja after driving around Kaduna town with a brief detour towards the state Government House through Gwamna Road unto the Abuja expressway.
“We have, however, made contact with the DSS director of Kaduna State and he insisted the arrest was not carried out by his men and he was not aware of where they were being held.
“Eyewitness account to the arrest has, however, affirmed that the arrest was carried out by non-uniformed officers in black suits driving hooded vehicles. We find it unfortunate that Nigerian security agencies would rather find it convenient to intimidate harmless civilians going about their civil functions than confronting the challenges posed by kidnappers who roam freely without any form of security presence.
“Meanwhile, we have placed all our 19 northern states coordinators on high alert with instructions to mobilise for massive street protests by 10am tomorrow, Friday, to demand the disclosure of the whereabouts of our officials.
“We strongly condemn this act of impunity displayed by an administration that has no regards for rule of law and no respect for human dignity and liberty. We remain determined to keep on the struggle for the emancipation of the northerner and the restoration of peace and security.”