Members of the Coalition of North East Elders for Peace and Development (CNEEPD) have warned Nigerians not to fall for the Federal Government’s statement that insecurity will end in three months across the country, saying it is a tactic to canvass for votes for the 2023 general election.
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni on Wednesday, the elders advised Nigerians against taking any promise by the government seriously, saying the administration has a penchant for deceiving the people through fake and unrealisable promises without accountability, thereby leaving Nigerians to carry their crosses.
According to the statement, “The government cannot give what it does not have, its inability to crush insecurity in the past seven years is a clear indication that it lacked the will to restore Nigeria to its path of glory.”
The group was reacting to the promise of the government that it would end security challenges in the country by December.
The government at a joint news conference in Abuja Tuesday attended by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi rtd and the Police Affairs Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Dingyadi, again assured Nigerians that it would flush out terrorists and bandits in the country by December 2022.
Aregbesola, at the event, said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has mapped out workable strategies to wipe out insecurity in the country by the end of the year and flush out the terrorists from every part of Nigeria.
The elders noted that the nation is faced with and continues to face security challenges, saying that the origin of these changes, as Nigerians all know, preceded the present administration, regardless of what anybody wants to believe or say.
It added that insecurity preceded Nigerians, and there are insurgents in the North East, bandits in parts of the North West and North Central, militants in the South-South, separatists in the South East, and ritual killers in the South West.
The statement observed that the country has constant attacks on pipelines, electricity cables, and other critical national infrastructure, adding that crude and refined oil theft and kidnapping for ransom, and farmers/herders clashes as security agencies rose to these challenges and have largely degraded the group’s constituting the threats.
The Northern elders claimed that Buhari’s aloofness to security slid Nigeria to rock bottom, dismissing the promise, describing it as another bait for 2023 elections, saying that the people have become wiser not to fall for cheap propaganda anymore.
With pervasive insecurity, they described Buhari’s handling of insurgency and terrorist attacks as hastening the nation’s descent into a failed state, regretting that Nigerians have been on edge with regard to how the sanctity of human life has reduced to the lowest ebb.
The group noted that its verdict is that with no discernible strategy to wage war against terrorists, the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari has not only failed Nigerians but has also allowed insurgents to gradually make inroads and shut down governance.
The statement explained that after holding the nation on the throat in recent weeks by launching attacks repeatedly across several states and kidnapping innocent citizens for ransom, Boko Haram insurgents, in a viral video, threatened to kidnap President Buhari and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, asking how they can give what they don’t have.
It said that the terrorists who kidnapped over 60 passengers on an Abuja-Kaduna-bound train on March 28, have now become more emboldened, threatening to kill the captives remaining while threatening to destroy the country, saying that this is beside the recent attack on the elite Presidential Guards Brigade, which led to a loss of lives.
The group explained that it forced the closure of Federal Government Colleges and a shift in the venue of Call to Bar by the Body of Benchers for security reasons, just as the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) leadership has called for security reinforcement across its camps are enough pointers to the fact that government cannot give what they are promising.
It said that it is ridiculous that a government that failed in the last seven years to restore Nigeria to its right path is promising to end insecurity in December. We view this as another bait for the 2023 elections, and Nigerians won’t fall for that anymore.
The group said that while it did not expect President Buhari to personally take up weapons and give the armed non-state actors a direct fight, it hastens to say he was expected to appoint effective and committed people who could make a difference and promptly replace those who have not been able to produce results within the security agencies.
The Northern elders noted with regret that corruption, inefficiency, ineffectiveness, deceit, and lies had become the hallmark of the fight against terror, alleging that that is why Abuja is almost at the precipice of collapsing under the massive and determined attacks by the terrorists.
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