Buhari’s delay to overhaul security architecture worrisome ― Northern elders

Posted by News Express | 3 September 2022 | 343 times

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•Northern elders


Elders in the Northern part of the country have again expressed worry over the nation’s state of insecurity, saying they were highly disturbed that President Muhammadu Buhari has not taken proactive steps to end the situation other than holding endless meetings with security chiefs in the Presidential Villa.

The elders, operating under the aegis of the Coalition of North East Elders for Peace and Development,(CNEEPP), reiterated their call for the sack of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), the service chiefs and wholistic restructuring of the nation’s entire security architecture, saying unless such step was taken by the president urgently, the nation’s worsening security challenges may not abate soon.

The northern elders blamed Monguno for feeding Buhari with lies and wrong advice regarding the worsening security challenges just as they said the service chiefs had become bereft of fresh ideas to tackle the problems.

Noting that, “Insecurity in Nigeria has become a source of concern both to Nigerians and the international community”, the group, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni regretted that:” On a regular basis, several civilians and soldiers are killed by men of the underworld.”

Noting also that “churches, mosques, residential buildings, schools and farmlands are not safe as they are regularly invaded by terrorists”, the northern elders regretted that in spite of the development, Buhari has continued to hesitate in hackneying to calls by experts and majority of Nigerians that the security architecture is overhauled completely.

“Some Nigerians in the North are fleeing to neighbouring countries to seek refuge. Soldiers who are supposed to be at the war front are resigning over a lack of motivation from the service chiefs. In addition, there is a limited supply of weapons and ammunition. At the last count, over 5000 lives have been lost in the last five years and the number keeps increasing by the day with no solution in sight.” they said.

According to them, “in the wake of these atrocities, Nigerians from all walks of life, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the NSA and the service chiefs for non-performance.”

“The calls became more strident in the last month following heightened security situation across the country. Even the National Assembly is not left out having called for overhauling of the security architecture and the sack of security chiefs.

“Surprisingly, President Buhari is yet to take action on useful advice by well-meaning Nigerians and instead, engaging in endless meaningless meetings with the security chiefs in Aso Rock. We can’t continue like this as if the collapse of the country does not mean anything to us, “the statement read.

The elders recalled that “Nigerians in 2015 and 2019 voted President Buhari to power in anticipation that as a former military head of state and a retired General, he was the right person to deal decisively with all forms of threats to the security of the people.”

“But over seven years down the line, rather than abate, insecurity has escalated thereby exposing great numbers of people to avoidable deaths and loss of property in a manner that history has never witnessed,” it regretted.

The group said, “While we recognise President Buhari’s prerogative to appoint, sack or replace service chiefs, at the same time, he swore an oath to protect the lives and property of every Nigerian citizen.”

To boost the war against insecurity in the country as the general elections draw close, the elders said,” The motivation is to remove the NSA and all the service chiefs as both junior and senior officers have lost confidence in the leadership of the security agencies.”

They added that, “There is nothing new any of them will offer that has not been used in the last seven years of the current NSA’s tenure and close to two years of that of the service chiefs.

The group insisted that insecurity in the country had reached a boiling point and that only the sack of the NSA and the service chiefs as the first step in addressing the ugly development could be acceptable.

“This call became very necessary and urgent to lend our voice to the growing insecurity and call for the immediate sack of the current security chiefs and a total overhaul of the security architecture of our country before it is too late.

“We are worried about President Muhammadu Buhari’s silence despite a call by every sector of Nigeria including the National Assembly who are the representatives of the people,” it said in the statement.

According to the Northern elders in the statement, “Some international organizations and authorities have faulted our security architecture and called for the need to restructure same, yet Mr President is still not moved.

“In a constitutional democracy, the people are the employer of the president and for a president to write his name in gold, he must listen to the people,” the statement added.

“We in this group insist that President Buhari is a good man that means very well for Nigeria and Nigerians but we strongly believe that he is being misled on a daily basis in respect of the happenings in the country as well as the security situation,” the statement further said.

It stressed that:” Most Nigerians don’t sleep with their eyes closed anymore. Our roads and homes are no longer safe because of robbery, kidnapping, banditry and Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists.”

The statement read further, “Food security is being threatened in the North West because of bandits who have been depriving farmers of going to their farms. The deteriorating plights of women and children in North East and other parts of the North in particular and Nigeria is on the steady decline.”

“Malnutrition is the order of the day in IDP camps across Northeast and Northwest. Investors are leaving the country on a daily basis because of insecurity. This is dangerous for our economic projections for 2023. No country can fund its budget effectively in the midst of insecurity like in Nigeria.

“We wish to use this medium to let our president know that Nigerians are really tired of excuses from the NSA and service chiefs. Their continuous retention is not doing the country any good.

“We are therefore appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, begin the restructuring of the country’s security architecture starting with the sack of these tired NSA and service chiefs and replace them with more committed Nigerians.

“Nigerians are fed up with the current level of insecurity. It is on this note that we issue this statement to express our concerns for the nation and the need for Mr President to act appropriately,” it emphasised.   (Tribune)

Source: News Express

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