Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has lamented that the rising insecurity in the northern region is strong proof that President Muhammadu Buhari had failed woefully in terms of security, despite swearing to uphold such important constitutional duty.
In a statement on Sunday by its Convener, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, NEF stated that the recent escalation of attacks by bandits, rustlers and insurgents gives the impression that the people of the north have been left completely at the mercy of armed gangs who roam towns and villages at will wreaking havoc.
Abdullahi said the situation is getting worse literally by the day as 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.
“As a responsible body, the Forum has joined millions of others in prayers and in giving advice and encouragement to all authorities that have responsibility to protect our communities,” it stated.
The NEF Forum warned that the time has come to say “enough is enough,” adding that, “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 the 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 peacefully and responsibly, and it urges governments to respect the rights of citizens to express their opinions peacefully.”
Abdulahi said NEF was consulting other groups and organisations which share its goals to come up with demands from the government over the “unremitting assault” on the lives and livelihood of northerners.
The Forum reminded President Muhammadu 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 President Buhari’s 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 Forum stated.