The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has condemned Monday’s attack on a meeting focused on the security challenges of the region by hired thugs in Kaduna.
The Forum described the attack as a threat to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, which is condemnable.
This was contained in a statement issued by NEF’s Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, on Monday night.
According to the statement, the Forum lamented that the meeting was also being attended by older Nigerians who had given their entire lives to the service of the nation.
The statement reads,” Northern Elders Forum (NEF) condemns in the strongest possible terms, the attack by hired hoodlums on a peaceful and legitimate meeting convened by Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) to discuss appropriate responses to the outrageous abduction of schoolchildren in Katsina.
“It is important to mention that the meeting was also being attended by older Nigerians who had given their entire lives to the service of the nation.
“This cowardly and crude attempt to muffle national outrage at increasingly deteriorating security of life and property in Nigeria will mark a new low in the state of the nation.
“Nigerians will note another threat that will increase the number of threats they are having to live with or die under. This is the threat to their rights to legally organize and express opinions over the manner they live.
“Whoever is behind this attack needs to know that more meetings will continue to be held all over Nigeria to demand that those with the responsibility to secure us do so.
“Nigerians will never submit to fear of criminals and the incompetence and indifference of elected leaders.
“Those behind this attack should employ more hoodlums because voices will rise until the Kankara schoolchildren are freed and the siege on our lives is ended.”
The Forum called on the Coalition of Northern Groups to sustain their efforts through all legal means until the North is safe and secure again.
“We call on all Nigerians to unite behind the demand for a secure nation and exercise their rights to assemble and express opinions as the law allows,” the statement added.
Vanguard News Nigeria