The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has commended the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, for showing leadership in the face of obvious serious security issues.
In statement signed by its spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, CNG “the fact that the Kankara abductions, carried out right under the nose of the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces also came with tell-tell signs of possible influence of the Boko Haram insurgents, is the more reason why it should be seen as an existential matter that needs to be addressed and tackled robustly and defeated once for all.”
The group then warned northern governors that “the problem must be confronted collectively with the entire will and resolve of all states behind the effort.”
The full statement reads:
“We should like, from the outset, to thank and commend His Excellency, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State for showing leadership and recognizing the seriousness of the situation by keeping to his pledge of ensuring the safe return of the hundreds of abducted Kankara students within the shortest time allowed by the circumstances which persuaded us to put our planned protests to Daura on hold.
“We wish also to congratulate the rescued children, their parents and the entire people of Katsina state and commend their resilience.
“We are also impressed by the press, both local and international for being seized with this matter by joining the CNG and other concerned citizens in mounting pressure to force action for the early resolution of the crisis.
“However, as we rejoice, we must also see this moment as another testament to the serious and indeed, critical dimension that the general and pervasive insecurity has taken in Nigeria, more especially in the North of the country.
“At the risk of overstating the case, we can unhesitatingly assert that the daring theft of more than 300 students from one point, at the same hour, represents the height of the most serious social and security challenges facing the North today.
“The fact that the Kankara abductions, carried out right under the nose of the Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces also came with tell-tell signs of possible influence of the Boko Haram insurgents is the more reason why it should be seen as an existential matter that needs to be addressed and tackled robustly and defeated once for all.
“A situation where dangerous security challenges such as the ones we are faced with, are being treated with levity and condescension by the President and those saddled with the responsibility of tackling them to the point where people are forcefully prohibited from accessing their farms and plying major roads and highways, or our schools forced to shutdown with children forced out of school, is certainly unacceptable.
“No people can aspire to greatness or seek to remain secure and safe when its entire population, particularly the youth and farming communities that represent the productive segments of society are exposed to such level of danger in the hands of murderous gangs of criminals who operate at will and with ease.
“We at the CNG therefore see this not as a moment for celebrations alone but as a starting point for a vigorous struggle for a sustained collective action to ensure a conclusive pronouncement of victory with total disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.
“To achieve this, we plan to unveil a viable umbrella to involve every significant component of northern society as stakeholders and committed actors in a struggle to free our society of this hazardous and debilitating security problem in the face of the apparent lack of political will and capacity on the part of the federal government.
“All of us, young and old, men and women, leaders and the led, politicians and civil servants, businessmen and women, teachers and students, and people from all walks of life must get involved in this struggle to eradicate this singular menace from our midst.
“To northern governors, we warn that the problem must be confronted collectively with the entire will and resolve of all states behind the effort.
“Failure to do so will indubitably mean that every effort made in isolation will defeat all endeavours, and render the task the more difficult and futile.
“To Mr President and the federal authorities, we say, problems are there to be solved or ameliorated and never to be shied away from.
“They must therefore, either recommit to act to solve this challenge quickly as a matter of the most urgent consideration, or tow the decent path of integrity by admitting failure and giving chance for self protection.
“Finally, to the rest of the country, we caution against seeing these challenges as affecting only one region or state or, for that matter, one ethnic group or the other. On the contrary, these are cross-national issues that affect every one of us regardless of where we live or come from”, CNG said.