Northern elders and the opposition people’s Democratic party (PDP) on Sunday lashed out at President muhammadu Buhari’s government over growing instability in many parts of the country, especially in the North.
While elders under the umbrella of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) said their region was being pushed to the wall, the PDP said the Buhari government’s failure to contain killings across the country was unacceptable.
Led by Professor Ango Abdullahi, the group complained that people were now at the mercy of armed gangs that roamed their cities and villages at will, wreaking havoc.
The statement said that Buhari’s administration and the region’s governors had failed miserably in ensuring the safety and well-being of the people.
The group called on the Federal government and Northern governors to note that ” it’s time to say Enough is enough.”
A statement signed by Abdullahi said: “the Northern elders forum (NEF) is alarmed by the growing insecurity of communities and their property in the North.
The recent escalation of attacks by bandits, robbers and insurgents allows us to draw the only conclusion that the inhabitants of the North are now completely at the mercy of armed gangs that roam freely through their cities and villages, wreaking havoc.
“It seems that the administration of President Buhari and the governors have lost control over the imperatives of protecting the peoples of the North, a constitutional duty that they have sworn to observe.
“The situation is getting worse literally every day. Bandits and insurgents seem to feel a huge vacuum in political will and capacity, which they exploit with disastrous consequences for communities and individuals.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that the people of the North have never faced this level of exposure to criminals who attack, kill, maim, rape, kidnap, burn villages and steal livestock, while President Buhari issues threats and promises that have no effect.
“The situation in which our communities live from Kogi States to Borno States, from Sokoto States to Taraba States, is no longer tolerable.”
However, Northern Elders, said that as “a responsible body, it has joined millions of others in prayers and in providing advice and support to all authorities who are responsible for protecting our communities.”
”Now is the time to say enough is Enough. Our people are known for their patience and respect for official authorities, but all governments should know by now that all northerners were backed up against the wall.
“The forum is aware that some citizens are considering peaceful protests, which are their constitutional rights, to draw the attention of President Buhari and all levels of government to the plight of the people of the North.
“The forum calls on all citizens to behave peacefully and responsibly. It also urges governments to respect citizens ‘ rights to peaceful expression.
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“The forum also consults with other groups and organizations that share its goals and concerns to support our voices in demanding action and help from the ongoing attacks on our lives and livelihoods as northerners.
“We remind President Buhari that ensuring the security and economic well-being of citizens are the only two constitutional duties of the state that must be fulfilled by all leaders.
“Our current circumstances in the North clearly show that the Buhari administration, unfortunately, 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 that criminals laugh at, and our fellow citizens see a clear failure of the leadership they consider part of themselves. I’ve had enough.”
The PDP, in a statement from its representative, Kola Ologbondiyana, said that the States of Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Borno, Kaduna, Kogi and Taraba were the most affected by the deplorable security situation in the country.
The party said it was in great pain from the horror, agony, agony, torture and brutality that Nigerians faced at the hands of bandits, insurgents and kidnappers.
So he called on the Federal government to seize the opportunity by tightening the security architecture and ensuring the nation’s security.
The statement said: “our party believes that the situation where looters and rebels, pushed to the periphery by the PDP administration, have revived under the leadership of the APC(All Progressive Congresses) to the extent that they have occupied territories, devastated communities and killed our citizens with reckless selflessness raises many questions.
“It is even more unfortunate that the bandits have become so emboldened by the inability of the APC administration to hold the President’s home state, Katsina, for ransom.
“Some APC governors have reportedly had contacts, discussions, and even negotiations with bandits: a situation that also requires the agribusiness and such governors to admit to having ties to looters.
“In addition, Nigerians have observed the failure of the APC as a party to raise a strong voice in providing their government with marching orders against banditry.
“The APC did not take any decisive action and did not put forward any significant proposals in an attempt to secure our nation, other than unconvincing condolences to the victims of the attacks.”