OFFICIALS, members of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), security experts as well as other participants on Monday narrowly escaped death as thugs invaded the venue of security summit in Kaduna State.
The security summit organised by the CNG was starting at the Arewa House Auditorium, Kaduna, the state capital, when the armed thugs in hundreds invaded the place.
The summit was aimed at discussing ways to achieve synergy between communities and government security and design a uniform approach to the current security situation in the North.
Scores of people, including retired military officer and religious leaders, who gathered at the venue, immediately took to their heels; some jumping through the windows.
The CNG’s Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, in a statement, condemned the action of the armed thugs.
In a statement titled, ‘How sponsored thugs invaded CNG meeting’, the CNG spokesperson wondered how armed thugs would freely move in the state capital without the intervention of security operatives.
He said: “It is quite obvious now that some powerful forces are benefitting from the current security situation and would do everything for it to continue. We are now all the more committed to ensuring the safety and security of the North and its people.”
Attack on CNG cowardly, says NEF
In a related development, the Northern Elders Forum on Monday condemned the attack by hired hoodlums on the meeting convened by CNG to discuss appropriate responses to the outrageous abduction of school children in Katsina, describing it as cowardly.
The organisation reminded the perpetrators that Nigerians would never submit to fear of criminals and the incompetence and indifference of elected leaders.
The NEF made the condemnation in a statement by its Director (Publicity and Advocacy), Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed.
The statement read in part: “It is important to mention that the meeting was also being attended by older Nigerians who had given their entire lives to the service of the nation. This cowardly and crude attempt to muffle national outrage at increasingly deteriorating security of lives and property in Nigeria will mark a new low in state of the nation.
“Whoever is behind this attack needs to know that more meetings will continue to be held all over Nigeria to demand that those with responsibility to secure us should do so.”
CNG vows trekking to Daura
Earlier, the CNG said its Katsina and Kano State chapters will trek to Daura, the country home of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in protest against the abduction of the students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State by bandits.
Under the banner of the #Bringbackourboys campaign, the CNG spokesperson, Suleiman, told The PUNCH on Monday that their members would occupy the President’s house (as from today) until the 333 missing students were rescued.
He said, “Our state chapters are also embarking on a long trek to Daura in Katsina State to demand immediate action from Buhari, who is currently in Daura, for the rescue of the abducted children.
“The daring kidnap of hundreds of school children in Katsina only goes to confirm the series of warnings raised by the CNG that thousands of our fellow citizens in the North have virtually been abandoned to armed criminals and a vicious insurgency,” he said.