By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The Joint Action Committee of Northern Youth Associations has described statement credited to chairman Board of Trustees of Coalition of Northern Groups, (CNG), Ashir Sheriff, as inciting and unacceptable.
The group in a statement signed by its Convener, Murtala Abubakar, and made available to the media in Kaduna on Wednesday, said it will not hesitate to describe the comments by CNG chair as “hate speech”.
In a circulated audio clip, Sheriff was reported to have said that the recent launch of “Shege Ka Fasa” was a reaction to the launch of “Amotekun” in South West Nigeria.
The group said it has been alarmed by steps taken by the acclaimed leader of the purported CNG by arranging an audio clip from God knows where, and using the unregulated social media to spread it with all its libelous content.
“In the audio clip Ashir Sheriff made sweeping general statements that were casting aspersions on the person of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and other high ranking public office holders that he did not name directly but listening to the speech will give clear indication as to whom his vituperations are directed.
“We have already made a public statement that we are not part of this scam and also distanced ourselves from the statement that the coalition was acting in collaboration with youth or youth organizations in the Northern States.
“We, members of the Joint Action Committee of Northern Youth Associations, have been compelled to publicly caution Ashir Sheriff, the Chairman Board of Trustees of the CNG over his reckless outbursts over comments made by some elders on their ‘Shege ka Fasa’ scam.
“While we recognize his freedom to express his views on any person or anything we also must remind him that he has no right to insult leaders that are held in high esteem by many and pollute the civic space with hate speeches.
“This is particularly because some of us were at the venue where His Eminence spoke on the issue so not only did we hear him clearly we knew the context within which he spoke.
“He essentially said that the Sheriff group ought to have consulted elders as well as governors and that they knew how to reach the Sultan since they had occasions to do so in the past severally. That they went ahead with out consultation was wrong,” the statement reads.
Avcording to the group, on the issue of the conditions of Northerners since the emergence of Amotekun, the Sultan was not silent.
“He called on the SSG of Katsina to ask his Governor to speak to his colleagues in the North and make a group visit to engage their colleagues in the South-West to ensure the safety of the people of Northern extraction.
“It is important to mention that the Sultan spoke at the occasion of inauguration of committee for the monitoring of Northern Security.
“This is a committee made up of very senior retired military, Police and other security services along with senior professors and people with long public service experiences precisely to liaise and collaborate with government to overcome the security challenges.
“We have no place for the likes of Ashir Sheriff and thus are making this call that the authorities charged with the protection of our collective well-being, peace and security should not allow Ashir Sheriuf or his statements to incite or cause disaffection that will bring about breach of peace and consequent thereon increase the level of insecurity in the Northern States and Nigeria as a whole,” the group warned.