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Spokesperson of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), Abdul-Azeez Suleiman
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CNG Releases Position On Latest Zamfara Student Abduction, Makes Demands

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has taken stock of events unfolding in Northern Nigerian in the last few months noting especially, with utter perplexity and concern, the disturbing increase in banditry and kidnapping activities, especially in rural areas of Zamfara and the frontline states of Katsina, Niger, Sokoto and Kaduna.

In a statement signed by the Spokesperson of the Coalition, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, the group observed that the “frequency and regularity of these incidents have become alarming, reaching audacious heights to a point whereby silence has become complicity and inaction is no longer an option.”

The CNG said that it has “watched and studied these events carefully and with considerable restraint and maturity, all along hoping that the government will act decisively to secure the people.
But the recent bandit attack and abduction of dozens of students of Gusau University in Zamfara has taken things too far and is absolutely unacceptable.”

In their position statement, the Northern groups said “We find it regrettable that despite claims of successes by the government security forces, the escalating rate of banditry and kidnapping in Zamfara and other frontline states like Katsina, Niger, Sokoto and parts of Kaduna has continued to claim precious lives, disrupt economic activities and ruin livelihoods.

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“The kidnappings have disproportionately targeted school children and students, with several schools affected between June and August, forcing many schools to shut down and leaving both parents and students worried about their safety.

“The audacity of these crimes is striking and suspicious, as they occur even in broad daylight and on major highways sometimes in the full glare of government security forces.

“This is because in the current instance, CNG sources on the affected campus have informed us that government troops were actually alerted of suspicious movements several hours before the attack on the campus.

“We also learned that the government troops did honour the alarm and visited the university twice but contrary to the reasonable expectation that the soldiers would mount extra vigilance around the campus (they) just drove away exposing the Students to unforeseen vulnerabilities.

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“The government’s inadequate response to the situation has only worsened matters. There have been promises of action, but they have largely been unfulfilled. It is high time for the government to rise to the occasion and take decisive action to address the security situation in North.

“The lives and livelihoods of citizens are at stake, and the government must demonstrate that it is a responsible custodian of their welfare”, the groups observed.

Stating their position, the CNG said that as the representatives of the general interest of Northern Nigeria, the CNG demanded “urgent action from government to secure the release of the abducted students of Gusau University to be reunited with their families alive and safe.”

They declared that “CNG will remain firm in its stance that President Tinubu must display a genuine commitment to addressing the security challenges in the North, departing from the usual approach. To show this determination, prompt action is required.

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They also demanded “that those responsible for ensuring the security of Zamfara University, where the horrific incident of the attack and abduction of innocent girls took place, be held accountable and face appropriate punishment. Anything less than that would not be acceptable and he would be seen to have failed in the vital responsibility of providing security to the people.

“We call the attention of government to note the that growing frustrated and mounting anger across the North and in particular the North-West arising from the general and pervasive insecurity being experienced while those charged with the responsibility of securing the lives and properties of citizens appear helpless or ill-prepared to act.

“We warn that the resurgence of this security challenge has caused untold hardship and agony to the people of the state and poses a serious threat to the entire northern region and must stop”, the CNG stated.

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