The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has backed the position of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) over the growing security challenges in northern Nigeria, saying President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to address his most primary responsibility of providing security.
The spokesman for the coalition, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, while reacting recently, said communities in northern Nigeria must mobilise to protect themselves.
“Northern communities are under the threats of bandits and kidnappers, our highways are no longer safe, villagers are fleeing their communities and our conclusion is that the president has failed and he is deliberately not agreeing to the advice of majority of Nigerians that he should at least sack the service chiefs,” he said.
“All we hear now from our people in the rural areas is disappointment and in some cases regret. People do not even look at the potentials of farming now because the villages and farmlands have been vacated.
“It has become necessary now for all communities to mobilise and protect themselves because the bandits have chased people out of their homes and even places like Ahmadu Bello University in the heart of Zaria and Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic are not safe and this is coming at a time that students will likely be returning to school. What this means is that parents should not hastily send their children to school, they must be certain that their lives are secured,” he said.
The ACF had on Monday expressed the anger and frustration of northerners to President Buhari on the growing security challenges in the region.
The ACF National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, said northerners had expected much more from the present administration.
“The government is not proactive and should rely on intelligence reports. Most of the time, they will tell us, we have liberated Kaduna-Abuja route and then we will hear that there is a serious attack there, they are not gathering enough intelligence, which is why the bandits and Boko Haram is always far ahead of them.
Yawe said: “We know that the previous administration messed up the security situation and we knew it was because the then president did not have a security background, he was just a university teacher who dabbled into politics and somehow became the president of the country. But this one, President Buhari is the one who fought in the civil war and who when Chadians invaded Nigeria chased them out during Shagari’s regime, so he appeared to have the proper credentials for handling the security of this country,” he said.
The presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, did not react to message sent to him by our correspondent.
Similarly, the Northern Elders Forum has said there is no doubt that the administration of President Buhari does not care about the people of the north, their economy and security.
A statement issued by the Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Northern Elders Forum, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed while reacting to the new deadline for the reconstruction of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano highway scheduled for completion in five years’ time, revealed that the slow pace of the work and the consequent deterioration of the highway had made it the most dangerous highway in the nation and the most attractive to kidnappers who have resurfaced recently to compound routine losses of lives and billions in economic losses.