The Coalition of Northern Group (CNG), on Wednesday, alleged that the EndSARS protest was being manipulated by unpatriotic people to cause anarchy in the country.
The CNG spokesperson, Suleiman Abdul-Azeez, made the assertion at a news conference in Kaduna on the violent nature of the protest in parts of the country.
Abdul-Azeez said though the CNG recognised the need to deepen the rule of law and the rights of citizens to engage in peaceful protest, it should in no way be allowed to lead to anarchy.
He said that the coalition “condemn in totality all manifestations of lawlessness that potentially lead to greater unrest and breakdown of public order in the guise of protests”.
“Whereas under Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), every person is entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons.
“Section 45 permits these rights to be restricted in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health, or to protect the rights or freedoms of others,” Abdul-Azeez said.
He urged all northerners to remain calm and refuse to be provoked into any form of altercations or retaliation for the reported attacks on them in some parts of the country.
“The CNG call for thorough investigation of the allegations raised in some viral media clips that the nation’s security services were behind the hoodlum attacks on the protesters leading to unnecessary bloodshed by providing open cover to the attackers.
“We also insist on prompt and appropriate prosecution of anybody or group or agency found to be directly or remotely responsible for the ignition and escalation of violence around the protests.
“We frown at the skewed recognition by the international community of the more violent segment of the protests and neglecting the more germaine and more peacefully executed protests against the regular and persistent killings in northern Nigeria.”
According to him, the right of peaceful assembly should be recognised except when it failed to conform with the law.
“CNG restate their commitment to the peaceful pursuit of reparation for all northerners who in one way or another fell victim of any loss to life, personal injury and damage to property.”