November 29, 2022

NORTHERN  Elders and opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP)   on Sunday came hard on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government over rising insecurity in many parts of the country, especially the North.

While the elders, under the aegis of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), said their region had been pushed to the wall, the PDP  said the inability of the Buhari government to contain the killings across the nation was unacceptable.

The Prof Ango Abdullahi-led group  lamented that the people were now at the mercy of armed gangs who roam their  towns and villages at will wreaking havoc.

It said in a statement  the Buhari administration and governors of the region had woefully failed in the provision of security and welfare for the people.

The group enjoined the Federal Government and Northern governors to note that “it is now time to say, enough is enough.”

The statement which was signed by Abdullahi reads: “Northern Elders Forum (NEF) is alarmed at the rising insecurity of communities and their properties in the North. Recent escalation of attacks by bandits, rustlers and insurgents leave the only conclusion that the people of the North are now completely at the mercy of armed gangs who roam their towns and villages at will, wreaking havoc.

“It would appear that the administration of President Buhari and governors have lost control over the imperatives of protecting people of the North, a Constitutional duty they swore to uphold.

“The situation is getting worse literally by the day. Bandits and insurgents appear to sense a huge vacuum in political will and capacity which they exploit with disastrous consequences on communities and individuals.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the people of the North have never experienced this level of exposure to criminals who attack, kill, maim, rape, kidnap, burn villages and rustle cattle, while President Buhari issues threats and promises that have no effect.

“The situation under which our communities from Kogi to Borno States, from Sokoto to Taraba States live is no longer tolerable.”

NEF however said that as a “responsible body, it had joined millions of others in prayers and in giving advice and encouragement to all authorities that have responsibility to protect our communities.”

”It is now time to say, enough is enough. Our people are known for their patience and respect for constituted authorities, but all governments must be aware by now that all Northerners have been pushed to the wall.

“The forum is aware that some citizens are contemplating peaceful protests, which are their constitutional rights, to draw attention of President Buhari and all levels of authority to the plight of people of the North.

“The forum urges all citizens to conduct themselves in peaceful and responsible manner. It also  urges governments to respect the rights of citizens to express their opinions peacefully.

“The forum is also consulting other groups and organizations which share its goals and concerns to lend our voices to the demands for action and relief from the unremitting assaults on our lives and livelihood as Northerners.

“We  remind President  Buhari that provision of security and pursuit of economic welfare of citizens are the only two constitutional responsibilities of the state which all leaders must achieve.

“Our current circumstances in the North clearly demonstrate that  the   Buhari administration has woefully failed to achieve either. This is unacceptable.

“We demand an immediate and comprehensive improvement of our security in the North. We are tired of excuses and verbal threats which criminals laugh at, and our fellow citizens see as a clear failure of leadership which they see as part of them. Enough is enough.”

The PDP,  in a statement by  its  spokesman,   Kola Ologbondiyan, said Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Borno, Kaduna, Kogi and  Taraba states were the  worst hit by the deplorable security situation in the country.

The party said it was  greatly hurt by the horror, anguish, agony, torture and cruelty Nigerians were facing in the hands of bandits, insurgents and kidnappers.

It therefore challenged the Federal Government to rise to the occasion by tightening the security architecture and securing the nation.

The statement said, “Our party holds that the situation where marauders and insurgents, who had been pushed to the fringes by the PDP administration, had resurged under the APC(All Progressives Congrss}  to the extent of occupying territories, ravaging communities and killing our citizens with reckless abandon, raises a lot of questions.

“It is even more lamentable that the bandits had become so emboldened by the failure of the  APC administration to the extent of holding Mr. President’s home state, Katsina, to ransom.

“Some  APC governors are reported to have had contacts, discussions and even negotiations with the bandits: a situation which also demands that the APC and such governors come clean on links with marauders.

“Furthermore, Nigerians have observed the failure of the APC, as a party, to raise a strong voice in giving its government, marching orders against banditry. “The APC had not taken any decisive action or proffered any significant suggestion in the effort to secure our nation, beyond lame condolence messages to victims of the attacks”.


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