By Simon Ujah, Kaduna
Some youth groups under the guise of members of the Joint Action Committee of Northern Youth Associations, have accused the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, Ashir Sheriff, of reckless outburst against some prominent northern elders for criticizing them on the launching of the northern regional security outfit code named Shege ka fasa.
In a statement signed by convener of the association, Murtala Abubakar, and made available to journalists on Tuesday in kaduna, the group stated that “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 Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, over his reckless outbursts over comments made by some elders on their ‘Shege Ka Fasa’ scam.
The group stated that the use of “such indecorous language in the North is unprecedented and in total breach of our character and values as Northerners.
“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.
We wish to draw attention to the recent controversial launch of “Shege Ka Fasa” (as a purported reaction to the launch of “Amotekun” in South West Nigeria), by CNG. 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 youths or youth organizations in the Northern States.
“In the same vain, we have been alarmed by steps taken by Ashir Shariff 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 Shariff 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 vituperation are directed”, they stated.
According the association, without repeating verbatim, Ashir Shariff, in a statement spoke of defending the cause of Northerners, and in particular the interest of Northern youths, “while characterizing His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto and other high ranking political office holders as plunderers who destroy the North and the country and fill it with “immoral and unworthy leaders”.
“We, members of the Joint Action Committee of Northern Youth Associations, find the comments manifestly offensive and inciting and unacceptable. We do not hesitate to describe the statements of Ashir Shariff as “hate speech”. We shall carry out wider consultations and decide what steps to take to ensure that this is not repeated not only Sheriff but by any other person again.
“This is particularly because some of us were at the venue where His Eminence spoke on the issue, so not only did we hear His Eminence 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. He also called on leaders not to allow the youth to go out on such ventures on their own that leaders need to guide the youth otherwise there could be chaos”.
On the issue of the conditions of the Northerners since the emergence of Amotekun, the Sultan was not silent, adding “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.