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Statesman Joins Other Nigerians To Demand Unconditional Release of Detained #ArewaIsBleeding Convener

In a five minutes video, a former presidential candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC), Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa called President Buhari and other security agencies to release the convener of #ArewaIsBleeding protest in Katsina before it becomes too late.

Nastura Ashir Sherif, the Chairman of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), is being detained in Abuja after organising and holding peaceful protests to show their frustration at the heightened insecurity in the North West.

Tofa in a video message said, “I, and millions of other Nigerians, condemn the arrest of Nasturah Sheriff and other Nigerians who were either killed or injured simply because they came out to demonstrate and make their views known in a peaceful manner.”

“This is injustice, unwise and undemocratic,” he said.

He also advised the President to offer an unreserved apology to the Sheriff, before an avoidable conflagration consumes the entire north and eventually, the country.

The former presidential candidate and statesman, also pointed out that so many people are angry about so many things happening in this country.

“If this collective anger is tickled and pushed by a few who may have started some illegal action somewhere, it will easily spread.

“Nigerians are very angry with the insecurity everywhere, poverty, joblessness and now Covid-19, disease, despair and desperation have eaten deep into people’s patience and good sense,” said Tofa.

In a tweet, Amnesty Nigeria described the arrest as an attempt to harass and intimidate others planning for a similar peaceful protest in the country.

“Nastura Ashir Sharif – was simply asking the authorities to do their job. His arrest appears to be an attempt to intimidate and harass both him and others peacefully exercising freedom of assembly and expression”, Amnesty Nigeria tweeted.

The organisation added that “Protest is not a crime, it is a right. Subjecting activists to such arbitrary arrest is a violation of Nigerian and international human rights laws.”

Activists and other social media users are using #FreeNastura, calling on the government to release the convener.

“Are we in a democracy era or an autocracy era??? AS A CITIZEN You cannot Protest against the Govt that you voted for? Bandit will kill us, Kidnappers will Ask for ransom, And Still, Fed Govt will arrest us instead of protecting our lives??,” cried @AbbaKYusuf2023

Niger Delta Youth Congress (NDYC) had also called for the urgent release of Nastura Sharif in a statement released by its national coordinator.

The National Coordinator of the NDYC made the call on Wednesday stating that the congress is worried over recent hype of insecurity – the arbitrary arrests, kidnappings and banditry in the country.

“As a bonafide citizen of Nigeria, Shariff and everyone have the constitutional right to speak and express their feelings when the government is not performing as it is the constitutional responsibility of the Government to protect the lives and properties of its citizens. What wrong has he done?”

Additional reporting by Muhammad Sani Uba

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu is an Assistant Editor at HumAngle and Head of the Radicalism and Extremism Desk. He has years of experience researching misinformation and influence operations. He is passionate about analysing jihadism in Africa and has published several articles on the topic. His work has been featured in various local and international publications.

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