*We’ll stage protest, says Prof. Abdullahi
*Insecurity caused by APC’s “Mercenaries” – PDP
By Myke Uzendu, with Agency Reports
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), has described the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is a “woeful failure”.
It also deplored rising insecurity especially in the Northern parts of the country, saying they are “highly disappointed”.
The NEF, umbrella body of the northern elite, noted that the recent escalation of attacks by bandits, rustlers and insurgents left it with only conclusion that the North are completely at the mercy of armed gangs who roam towns and villages at will, wrecking havoc.
The Convener, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, in a statement said that “It would appear that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governors have lost control over the imperatives of protecting people of the North, a constitutional duty that they swore to uphold.
“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.
“The situation is getting worse literally by the day. Bandits and insurgents appear to sense a huge vacuum in political will and capacity which they exploit with disastrous consequences on communities and individuals.
“The situation under which our communities from Kogi to Borno States, from Sokoto to Taraba States, life is no longer tolerable.
“As a responsible body, the Forum has joined millions of others in prayers and in giving advise and encouragement to all authorities that have responsibility to protect our communities.
“It is now time to say, enough is enough. 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.”
According to him, “the North, had never experienced the level of criminals who attack, kill, maim, rape, kidnap, burn villages and rustle cattle, while President Buhari issues threats and promises that have no effect”.
He said that some groups in the North were planning a peaceful protest over the situation, and urged the government to allow the aggrieved people to carry out the protest without molestation, insisting it is their constitutional right.
NEF disclosed that it was in consultation with other groups and organizations which share its goals and concerns to lend their voices to the demands for action and relief from “unremitting assaults on our lives and livelihood as Northerners”.
Prof. Abdullahi reminded President Buhari that providing security and pursuit of economic welfare of citizens were the only two constitutional responsibilities which all leaders must achieve.
He said they were tired of excuses and verbal threats “which criminals laugh at”, adding that “the citizens see such verbal threats as a clear failure of leadership”.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has decried the failure by President Buhari and his APC administration to contain the killing of vulnerable Nigerians and blamed it on so-called APC “Mercenaries”,
The opposition party said it is “hurt by the horror, anguish, agony, torture and cruelty our compatriots are facing in the hands of bandits, insurgents and kidnappers, following the failure of the APC administration to get its acts together, tighten our security architecture and secure our nation, despite the huge resources it claimed to have spent”.
They said that “the frightening situation where bandits have reportedly taking control of some parts of our nation and even grant permission and consent to residents before they can conduct weddings, naming ceremonies or operate their markets, is completely inexcusable.
“It is even more lamentable that the bandits had become so emboldened by the failure of the APC administration to the extent of holding Mr. President’s home state, Katsina, to ransom,” Kola Ologbondiyan, the National Publicity Secretary said in a statement yesterday.