Arewa faults arrest of Kano youths over attack on Obasanjo

Posted by Webby on 8/9/2002 6:07:10 AM
Post Comment Arewa faults arrest of Kano youths over attack on Obasanjo Nigeria
THE arrest and detention of 54 youths, who allegedly threw stones at President Olusegun Obasanjo and his entourage, during his recent visit to Kano State is unjust and unfair, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has said.

After a meeting in Kaduna yesterday, the northern group, which decried the youth's action, however, said the mere throwing of stones at the President is nothing when compared to the unchallenged heinous actions of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), a militant group from the South-West.

The ACF, whose Board of Trustees, led by Chief Sunday Awoniyi deliberated on other national issues, also faulted the continued detention of the son of former Head of State, Mohammed Abacha, after he had been granted bail by an Abuja High Court.

In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Aliyu Hayatu, the northern elders noted that the context in which the law enforcement agents arrested the youths was not fair and just.

"The meeting of the forum noted the tension which arose during the just-concluded visit of President Obasanjo to Kano State and condemned violence from whatever quarters. And the meeting fully recognises the power and the authority of law enforcement agents to arrest trouble-makers, detain such arrested persons within lawful parameters and arraign them before the courts."

Hayatu said the ACF wished to place in proper context the arrest, detention and transfer of 54 stone throwing youths from Kano to Abuja in connection with what transpired during the visit.

He said: "Proven instance of stone throwing is of course, an offence and is condemnable. But this does not appear to be even handedness in this situation when it is recalled that Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) thugs who committed the much greater crime of mass murder and massive destruction have been going around, largely untouched."

"The impression should not be created that law enforcement agents are selective in the manner they treat Nigerian citizens. Such manifestations of partiality can only erode popular confidence and engender distrust and tension. Everything possible should be done to avoid such unpleasant eventuality," he urged.

Revisiting the efforts of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the voters' registration exercise is completed before the local council polls, the ACF lauded northern royal fathers on their rejection of the unwieldy registration procedure.

"As is now common knowledge, almost every facet of the registration procedure put in place by INEC is illegal," Hayatu said, adding that the form proposed by the commission is absolutely at variance with what is contained in the Electoral Law.

"A number of the questions to be answered are also illegal. The photographing, which INEC is insisting on, is also illegal as it does not form part of the electoral law," the group said.

It challenged the continued detention of Mohammed who was granted bail.

Hayatu said now that Mohammed Abacha has been exonerated of the murder charge by the Supreme Court and granted bail by the High Court, he should be allowed to go home a free man.

Add Comment

* Required information
Captcha Image

Comments (0)

No comments yet. Be the first!