By Our Correspondent
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), an amalgamation of several groups in Northern Nigeria, has advised the junta in Niger Republic to put an immediate end to the burning of the Nigerian flag in the country.
The group also warned that the resort to discrediting Nigerian President and other leaders by some Nigeriens is not only immoral and illegal but also abhorrent to Nigeria’s collective sensibilities and ordinary decency and therefore unacceptable.
Spokesman for the CNG Abdul-Azeez Suleiman in a statement in Abuja that Niger stands to lose public sympathy given to the country by the vast majority of Nigerians if the junta fails to act now.
But it also asked the Federal Government to reconsider its stand on the closure of borders with Niger and the seizure of electricity supply to the country, saying the military authorities in Niger and the ECOWAS should leave room for dialogue.
Citing alleged rigid positions assumed by both ECOWAS and the military leaders in Niger the CNG said: “For one, the hasty closure of borders and trade routes by neighbouring countries, the cutting off of electricity supply by Nigeria and the slapping of a regime of economic sanctions were not in the best interest of peace.
“On their part, the coup leaders in Niger have stubbornly foreclosed every window of opportunity for discussions by rejecting all overtures including the refusal to allow diplomatic emissaries from the United Nations, the African Union and the ECOWAS to initiate negotiations.
“CNG notes also that the military junta in Niger have encouraged or overlooked the offensive manner their citizens have engaged in the public insult to the collective sensibilities of Nigerians and Nigeria as a country, by desecrating the Nigerian national flag.
“We note also the incitement to war by the regimes in Mali and Burkina Faso as well as the direct and indirect inflammation of the situation by certain foreign interests on the West and East that only complicate matters the more.”