The circumstances that gave birth to the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) can be traced to events from 1999 when the North voluntarily ceded central political power to the South and found itself in opposition for the first time in Nigeria's political history.
Sensing the general distress in the region and the obvious estrangement of its ruling elite under the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Arewa Youth Development Foundation (AYDF) came into being and challenged the harsh conditions wrought upon the North with Obasanjo's deliberate unfriendly policies.
Among its early activities, the AYDF single-handedly initiated the successful fight against Obasanjo's infamous third term plot,and ensured the eventual return of power to the North in 2007. It also played a considerable role in drawing public attention to the Halliburton financial scandal and mounted pressure for thorough investigation of the matter. In 2007, Arewa Citizens Action for Change (ACAC) and Arewa Students Forum (ASF) were created to compliment the activities of the AYDF.
The three, along with the newly-formed Northern Elders Forum (NEF) were in the vanguard of the struggle that saved Nigeria and the North in particular, from being overtaken by a murderous insurgency during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan when the entire North was practically a battlefield.
After Jonathan's eventual loss to President Muhammadu Buhari, the three groups and the NEF mounted deliberate patriotic pressure on the President to dispense fairness, justice and equity to all sections of the country to ensure a united, strong, prosperous Nigeria.
With the resurgence of separatist disturbances especially by the IPOB and its ilk in the South-East in 2016 on the heels of other agitations for "restructuring", "true federalism" and "resource control" which targeted the North and singled northerners for attacks and irreverent treatment, came the need for the formation of a mega coalition which brought about the CNG.
CNG's first major activity was taking the bold and necessary step of making the Kaduna Declaration in which it addressed the unfolding developments in Nigeria that were pregnant with complications and unforeseen consequences.
The Kaduna Declaration aimed to forestall the drift toward anarchy and bloodshed in Nigeria, and also to alert the international community as to where responsibility would ultimately lie if such momentous and terrible events ever came to pass.
The Kaduna Declaration prompted a national debate where the hither to silent component in the leadership of the East, the Igbo communities in the North and the political leaders of the country found their voice in denouncing IPOB and its violent agenda. Following the successful deflation of IPOB, the CNG went ahead to confront other challenges faced by the North including lopsided distribution of services by government, pervasive insecurity, disabling poverty, mass joblessness, rampant drug and substance abuse, general moral degeneracy.
- To vigorously protect and promote the general interest of all the tribes in the North that call this space home by looking back at history to see how what unites us is far greater than what divides us.
- To maintain the northern cohesion by constantly exposing and standing up to the various attempts by self-appointed external enemies and their internal collaborators who instigate divisions through exploiting cleavages of religious and ethnic nature to cause disharmony and facilitate the breakup of the
- To undertake effective advocacy and engagement on all matters related to the "National Question"with reasoned presentation of the northern viewpoints and positions on all matters related to current and future discourses at the national and international levels.
- To Prepare and sensitize the northern people on various positions as regards to all unfolding situations in the country by enabling them to be less reliant on outside sources of information and less amenable to manipulation by deliberate misinformation campaigns
- To undertake the gathering of useful and important materials by way of research on all matters of interest and importance to the North for the creation of the right conditions for negotiations with contending regional interests during any national discourse on Nigeria's political dispensation that should emerge now or in the future.
- To mentor the youth for leadership roles by reawakening in them the culture of respect, integrity, dignity, decorum, tradition, decency, morality, civilization, etiquette, good behaviour, politeness, accommodation, and all other positive traits.
CNG's main vision is to see a united and prosperous northern Nigeria with its treasures shared by all its inhabitants who will call every space their home.
- To ensure a drug-free, decent, morally upright, educationally sound, mutually tolerant, politically conscious, economically up to date and self-reliant northern society capable of identifying the current global changes and utilizing them for the progress of the North, Nigeria and Africa.
Like many communities across the world, northern Nigerian history is replete with disputes and isolated incidents, but the fact that we have for this long lived together and prospered, is a testimony to how far we have come in accommodating our differences and agitations.
The CNG nevertheless believes that the current realities are not isolated incidents but are linked to a grand design to destabilize the North and divide its people along artificial lines through exploiting ethnic and religious differences.
For too long, enemies of the North both foreign and local have worked strenuously to ensure that the region remains backward, divided, weak, confused and bewildered by myriads of challenges and problems.
It is therefore not in doubt that the general backward slide in education, politics, economy, morality, and the pervasive insecurity currently being experienced across the northern region is part of a mega but clandestine plots panning several years.
Today, everyone can see a clear pattern drawn to achieve the disintegration of the North and bringing its population down on its knees by direct political and economic incapacitation, or indirectly, by introducing drugs and other retardants to dislocate the social cohesion of the region and create a class of aimless and dehumanized individuals who will forever remain a burden on the society.
The CNG is convinced that this conspiracy is actively perpetrated with the connivance of some leaders from the North and accommodated by the cowardice of those that present themselves as northern political leaders which sufficiently justifies its activities.
The CNG anticipates and checkmates the maneuvers of other sections in all possible and likely scenarios by approaching issues with high precision, extensive consultation, careful planning, widespread advocacy and sustained engagement.
In carrying out the vital task of presenting the case for the Norththerefore, CNG has developed plans for effective advocacy and engagement not only with internal partners, but also with external entities that would have to be reasoned with or contacted in any event.