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Shariff, Rufai regain freedom as DSS denies role in arrest


The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG has announced the release of their national officials who were arrested in Kaduna earlier on Thursday.

Abdul Azeez Suleiman, spokesman of CNG confirmed the release of Nastura Ashir Shariff and Balarabe Rufai Thursday night.

He said, “The Coalition of Northern Groups is happy to inform that it has at last established contact with its two leaders Nastura Ashir Shariff and Balarabe Rufai who were taken away this morning in Kaduna.

“I have been in personal contact with the national Coordinator Balarabe Rufai who confirmed their release and their condition.

“At around 10.30 pm, Mr Rufai called and said their handsets have been returned to them and they were released and would give details of what transpired later.

“Shariff also spoke to me via Rufai’s phone and confirmed both were in good health.

It could be recalled that Suleiman had in an update on the officials Thursday evening complained that the whereabouts of of the CNG officials were unknown

Suleiman said, “We wish to inform the public that as at 6.30pm of Thursday, the BOT Chairman of CNG, Nastura Ashir Shariff and the national Coordinator, Balarabe Rufai’s whereabouts remain unknown.

“Our people who have been trailing the arrest vehicles reported that they lost the trail at Jere on the way to Abuja after driving around Kaduna town with a brief detour towards the state government House through Gwamna Road unto the Abuja expressway.

DSS denies role in arrest

Suleiman also disclosed that the DSS had denied any role in the arrest of CNG officials. He said, “We have however made contact with the DSS director of Kaduna State and he insisted the arrest was not carried out by his men and he was not aware of where they are being held.”

The CNG spokesman however said “Eye witness account (of) the arrest has however affirmed that the arrest was carried out by (uniformed) officers in black suits driving hooded vehicles.

“We find it unfortunate that Nigerian Security agencies would rather find convenience to intimidate harmless civilians going about their civil functions than confronting the challenges posed by kidnappers who roam freely without any form of security presence.

“Meanwhile, we have placed all our 19 northern states Coordinators on high alert with instructions to mobilize for massive street protests by 10am tomorrow, Friday to demand the disclosure of the whereabouts of our officials.

“We strongly condemn this act of impunity displayed by an administration that has no regards for rule of law and no respect for human dignity and liberty. We remain determined to keep on the struggle for the emancipation of of the northerner and the restoration of peace and security,” the CNG spokesman said.