Police Release Detained Leader of Coalition Behind Katsina Protest


By John Shiklam

Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), Mr. Nastura Sharif, has been released from detention.

Sharif was arrested by the police on Tuesday and taken to Abuja shortly after leading a protest in Katsina against killings and banditry in the state.

In a statement on Thursday evening, spokesman of the group, Abdulhazeez Suleiman, said Sharif was released following the intervention of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and other prominent well meaning Nigerians and groups.

“The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) hereby confirms that Nastura Ashir Sharif, its chairman of the Board of Trustees has today been freed from a two-day police captivity”, the statement said.

It said Sharif was “arrested Tuesday afternoon and moved to Abuja shortly after the peaceful protests in Katsina against the killings of helpless and defenceless citizens by bandits”.

“We acknowledge that Sharif’s freedom was made possible by the enormous pressure exerted by the CNG, the Northern Elders Forum, patriotic leaders and elders of the North, a decent section of the civil society, a multi-sectoral cooperation of regional groups and activists and the vigilance of the national and international press.

The group expressed appreciation to Nigerians, saying it will never relent in its struggles for a just society.

“We equally appreciate the support, cooperation and patience of the entire northern public throughout the period of Shariff’s detention.

“This is indeed reassuring. We assure the public that we shall never relent in our struggle for a decent, free, fair and just society no matter the odds.

“We urge authorities to endeavour to always place value on human liberty and people’s rights as basic corner stones for civilized democracy,” the statement said.