Leaders of CNG picked in Kaduna

Some leaders of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) have been picked in Kaduna by plain-cloth security agents, suspected to be of the Department of State Services (DSS).

This was shortly after a press conference planned by the Coalition was prevented from taking place.

Those arrested are Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Nastura Ashir Shariff and the Coalition’s National Coordinator, Balarabe Rufai.

Spokesperson of the group, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, told journalists that reasons for their arrest were not yet known as “we are still working to establish connection with them or trace where they are taken to.”

The Nation recall that, the Department of State Services (DSS) had on Wednesday reiterated its warning that, some people were planning to cause ethno-religious conflict in the country.

Meanwhile, the apex religious bodies in Nigeria, the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), asked the DSS to stop raising red flags and go after the suspected trouble makers.

Through, the CNG had not made its position public, the group had fixed a press conference for Wednesday afternoon at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Club Kaduna, but abruptly rescheduled it for 11:00am on Thursday.

The Nation gathered that, the Coalition of Northern Groups, organized the press conference, to take position on the violent eviction of Fulani from communities in southern part of Nigeria.

Speaking further on the arrest of Shariff and Rufai, the CNG spokesman said, “both their phone lines have been unreachable for the past two hours.”

“It may not be unconnected with a planned press briefing by the CNG at the club in Kaduna which was botched by the security,” he alleged.

He explained that the head of a security agency in the state “had called us earlier today and tried to threaten us against going ahead with the briefing. We stood our ground and insisted on our right to freedom of association and expression.”

He said a few minutes afterwards, they were called from the Club and informed that there was order from above to refuse them use the Hall.

“We then went to tell the pressmen who were already gathered at the venue and told them of the development and asked them to disperse because we have suspended the briefing.

“As we left the Club and were driving along adjacent Nagogo road a hooded Peugeot car blocked the lead car which was conveying the two officials and ordered them into the Peugeot and sped off,” he said.

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