The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has been angered by the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to Ban the activities of the Islamic terror group, Boko Haram and Ansarul.
In a statement, released by their spokesman, Prof Ango Abdullahi, the Elders Forum warm the Federal Government on the decision and added they will head to court if rights of their people are infringe by the decision.
The NEF spokesperson said that “we don’t know the content of the proscription (Ban) as regards the Boko Haram and Ansarul.
“Boko Haram, to my understanding, is not an organization that has been in existence under the Nigerian laws. You proscribe an organisation when it is recognised or registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as an organisation.
It was founded as an organisation offending the laws of Nigeria. This is the basis one can say that such organisation could be proscribed.
“But, outside that, one begins to hope that there will not be infringement on freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of propagating religious beliefs and many rights that are enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.”
Prof Abdullahi added that, “I hope that none of these freedoms will be touched because if they touch them there is a clear infringement on the right of the citizens. And the citizens will go to court to challenge the violation of their rights.
“Our concern is that these organisations are not in any law book, not in Corporate Affairs. Government initially said they didn’t know the group. So you only proscribed what is in existence under the law.
“What I thought government should do is to concentrate on what they are doing and to see in what way these people can emerge and engage in discussion and dialogue so that these crises could come to an end.
“Our concern is that our rights as citizens will not in any way be breached.
“Everybody was happy when the committee on peace and dialogue was set up, and then soon after there was a declaration of state of emergency.
The people you said they should come and talk with you, how will they come out when there is a state of emergency? How do you expect them to come out?
The proscription, again, is undermining the work of the committee; the committee cannot make progress after this proscription.”