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Published On: Thu, Nov 5th, 2020

‘Northern leaders lack courage to make pronouncements on attacks on northerners’

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From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

A Group under the auspices of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), has said Northern leaders lacked the courage to make clear pronouncements on the unprovoked attacks on northerners and their properties in the southern part of the country.
The Spokesman of the Group Abdul-Azeez Suleiman Made the assertion during a press conference held in Kaduna yesterday.
The Group stated thatat a time when their southern counterparts are proposing claims of trillions of Naira in compensation for their people the
Northern Governors and Monarchs find it more important to dwell on #EndSARS and social media, neglecting the more serious issues of security, youth restiveness, unemployment, poverty, dwindling fortunes of agriculture and general economic decline in the region.
The Coalition said its members and vast majority of the cultured northerners are disappointed that, such a meeting of northern governors and traditional leaders, elected representatives and top federal government officials find it more important to dwell on #EndSARS and social media, neglecting the more serious issues of security, youth restiveness, unemployment, poverty, dwindling fortunes of agriculture and general economic decline in the region.
The Coalition however, commended the efforts of the Forum’s Chairman, Governor Simon Bako Lalong for convening a meeting of such magnitude with the resolve of making it regular.
Leaders of the Coalition stated categorically that, they are disappointed that, the Northern leaders lacked 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.
“Essentially, the agenda for the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) meeting was grossly misplaced in the sense that it accorded more relevance to the #EndSARS and the social media failings which should by far not be the major focus for concern for the North at the moment.
“The CNG and indeed the vast majority of the cultured northerners are disappointed that such a meeting of northern governors and traditional leaders, elected representatives and top federal government officials from the North should find it more important to dwell on #EndSARS and social media and neglecting the more serious issues of security, youth restiveness, unemployment, poverty, dwindling fortunes of agriculture and general economic decline.
“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.
“We are disappointed that the meeting laccked 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.
“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.
“We 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 the northern governors and other leaders would rethink the the apparent weak position adopted at the meeting and redeem their failure to articulate a more favourable northern position, the CNG wishes to express reservations regarding the two committees set up, their stated functions and the all important issue of implications.
“In the past, several committees have been variously charged with tasks of recommending the way forward for the region. But regrettably, a lot of the recommendations, viable though they may be, have characteristically been consigned to the dust bin of history.
“While hoping that it will be different, at least this time around, we also expect that genuinely patriotic and productive minds would be engaged for meaningful imput particularly for the Youth and Civil Society Committee which is expected to engage the youths with a view to addressing thier pressing demands to put to rest their agitations,” CNG said.

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