The Coalition of Northern Groups on Sunday in Kano said that job opportunities meant for indigenes of the northern states had been hijacked by people from the South.
Briefing newsmen on the state of the nation, as it affected the North, the spokesman of the group, Abdulazeez Suleiman, lamented that northerners were being denied employment opportunities in the South.
According to him, all vacant positions available in the North, as guaranteed by the local content clause of the Federal character provision in the Constitution, had been surrendered to southerners, as a result of the negligence of the northern elite, who pose as political leaders of the region.
“Whereas, the local content clause stipulates that all levels 01 to 06 positions in every government establishments must go to indigenes of the host communities in the North, the reverse is the case,’’ Suleiman said.
He also described the North as systematically crippled by multiple security challenges, which threaten the region’s population and political unity, as well as inhibit its economic and social activities.
“Recurring violence, involving cattle theft, abductions for ransom, attacks on civilian targets and other forms of banditry all over the North, poses a serious threat to peace and security, with the uncoordinated and inadequate responses by the Federal and state authorities, thereby deepening mistrust and perception of the authorities as biased,’’ he added.
The coalition condemned the action of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who openly declared Rivers as a Christian state and went ahead to prove it by demolishing a mosque in Port Harcourt.
It said that the governor’s action was in breach of the guaranteed freedom of every Nigerian to practise their faith unhindered by any legislation or obstacle imposed by a state or a community.
Recalling another brutal encroachment of people’s freedom by the Lagos State Government, the group accused the government of apprehending and humiliating dozens of northerners, who were seeking opportunities to lawfully run their businesses in the state, the same way people from other parts of the country carried out their respective trades of choice in the North.
In its resolutions, the group demanded from the Federal Government proof of its capacity to protect citizens in all parts of the North, as minimum evidence that it is serious about its responsibilities.