Leaders of the Northern region say they deployed ethnic and religious sentiments to quell nationwide protests demanding police reforms from escalating to its geo-political zones.
This is contained in a communique issued at the end of its Kaduna meeting yesterday which had state governors, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, traditional rulers and other stakeholders in attendance.
Last month protests calling for the end of the now scrapped Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) went rife although the demand began online in 2017 with the hashtag #EndSARS.
While youths in almost all Southern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) participated in the protests which later escalated globally, few of their counterparts in the Northern region who attempted to key in had state sponsored thugs unleashed on them.
In a communique issued at the end of the gathering by the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) Simon Lalong, leaders of the region were praised for preventing the youths from participating.
“We commend the roles of his eminence, royal highnesses, and other royal fathers in ensuring that the EndSARS protest did not escalate significantly in the North by adopting sentimental issues such as ethnicity and religion, the Forum resolved to continuously engage with their Royal Highnesses in addressing this challenge,” the communique by Mr Lalong read in part.
At the meeting, the leaders also backed President Muhammadu Buhari on his administration’s resolve to regulate the social media, a move described by civil society organisations and critics as targeted at dissenting voices.
They also endorsed extensive reform of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) led by Mr Adamu.