Arewa leaders, under the auspices of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), yesterday accused President Muhammadu Buhari of failing governance test by allowing insecurity and poverty to thrive in Nigeria. Led by Mr Ango Abdullahi, a former vice chancellor ABU, the body handed over the verdict yesterday when it reviewed the state of the nation in Kaduna State.
Speaking at a press conference in Zaria, Abdullahi said NEF would have “refrained from comments on major developments relating to management of national security and governance because it is convinced that these are times which require the highest levels of responsibility and circumspection in the manner elders and leaders in the nation contribute to the search for solutions to the multiple problems which face the nation.”
According to him, “it has become necessary and appropriate, however, to make public, the position of the forum on important matters that affect the manner Nigerians live, and the future we must address.”He added: “the forum regrets that by any standard of judgment, the leadership of Mr Buhari has failed the nation in the vital area of improving its security.”
Lamenting the condition of living in the country, Abdullahi pointed out that “poverty, particularly in the North, and massive social security have worsened under this administration.”
The former don went on: “The relationship between insecurity and poverty is fundamental, but the administration does not appear to have any idea on what will provide relief or solution. It gives the forum no pleasure to say that it had warned Nigerians that Buhari lacked the will, the competence and commitment to lead it into a secure and prosperous future before the 2019 elections.
“It is shocking that in spite of unprecedented consensus among Nigerians that the administration requires a new resolve, approach and leadership in the fight against the nation’s multiple security challenges, Buhari appears either totally isolated or in deep denial over the result of his failures to secure Nigerians.”
“With this type of mindset, it is difficult to see how Buhari can accept the challenge to radically improve his handling of our security situation.”
In a related development, apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has vowed to defend every soul in Southeast amid the pervasive insecurity in the land.
It noted that the prevailing situation across the federation was a “clear indication that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is incapable of protecting the people.”
Rising from its Imeobi meeting (the highest decision-making organ) yesterday in Enugu, Ohanaeze warned that it would no longer fold its arms and watch Igbo being slaughtered in different parts of the country.
The group’s President General, Mr Nnia Nwodo, who read the resolution of the meeting, urged Ndigbo to be vigilant and continue doing their businesses in line with the law.
The statement read in part: “Ohaneze Ndigbo having extensively considered and deliberated the lone agenda of the meeting, which is ‘Security in Ala Igbo’, hereby states categorically that Ndigbo will not stand by and watch their people slaughtered. That Ohanaeze will defend every soul in Igboland.”
Also, Governors of Southeast zone are to name their regional security outfit soon.
Addressing reporters yesterday after a meeting of South East Governors’ Forum yesterday in Enugu, the chairman and Governor of Ebonyi State, Mr Dave Umahi, said efforts were on to secure the nod of the houses of assembly through enactment of a law to back the move.He added that the Federal Government had been put on notice.
However, Yoruba Ko’ya Movement has threatened to mobilise South Westerners to exit Nigeria should Buhari fail to contain the excesses of Miyetti Allah and the orgy of killings in the country.
In a statement by the convener, Mr ‘Deji Osibogun, the group charged the President to order immediate arrest and prosecution of all leaders of Miyetti Allah that had claimed responsibilities for attacks leading to the death of over 3,000 Nigerians in the last four years across the south and Middle Belt.
Besides, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday blamed federal and state governments for the pervasive insecurity in the land.
It regretted that many states were organising their internal security networks without treating the causes of the problem at hand.
The body said it had been warning governments to cater for the needs of the vulnerable in the society to no avail.
The University of Ibadan chapter chairman of ASUU, Mr Deji Omole, stated that instead of budgeting for people’s welfare, government at the three tiers had been spending billions of naira to buy security equipment from countries that have invested heavily in research and training.