A Civil Society Organisation, CSO, Concerned Nigerians, CN, Wednesday, condemned the arrest of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), Nastura Sharif over Katsina protest by the Nigeria Police Force and demanded his immediate release.
The condemnation and demand were made in a statement signed by the Convener, CN, Comrade Deji Adeyanju, where the group accused President Muhammadu Buhari of arresting critics who criticized his alleged inability to deal with armed bandits who have been unleashing terror on innocent and helpless people in their villages.
According to Adeyanju the Federal government and the Police have been intolerant of dissents who have constitutional rights to express their feelings and hold government officials accountable when they fail in their constitutional responsibilities.
Sharif was arrested on Tuesday, by the police over a protest on rising attacks and killings by armed bandits in Katsina State and entire North, which the protesters called on the Governor of Katsina State, Rt Hon Aminu Bello Masari and President Muhammadu Buhari to resign over their inability to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians in the North.
The statement reads in part: “We are greatly worried that the President is arresting critics of his sheer incompetence in the handling of security situations in the North instead of the bandits killing Nigerians. “The President should arrest the bandits and not patriotic citizens speaking up against the gross incompetence of the government.
A government that negotiates and begs bandits cannot be arresting critics. “The President needs to show leadership and stop arresting those criticizing him.
We are in a democracy and this system of government gives the citizens the right and freedom to hold elected public officials accountable. “If the President can’t tolerate dissents, then, he should be courageous enough to resign. Freedom of assembly is one of the most fundamental rights of the citizens in a democracy.
“We are solidly behind Nastura Sherif and we call on the Nigerian government to release him immediately from detention. “All the energy being expended by the Police in arresting Mr. Nastura Sherif and other Concerned Nigerians who protested on Tuesday in Katsina should be channeled into taming the monstrous bandits terrorizing the people of Katsina and other parts of North.”
He (Adeyanju) also pointed out that, the primary responsibility of any government is the security of lives and property of its citizens, which he alleged that “President Buhari and Governor Masari have greatly failed.” vanguard