– Want new, younger hands as service chiefs- Marwa’s appointment step in right direction
A coalition of Northern elders has taken a critical look at the insecurity ravaging the region and came out saying that it would take over 100 years to recover from the destruction, killings and trauma.
They said the region is under siege by Boko Haram, bandits, and kidnappers, and demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari seek new approach in restoring peace in the troubled area as according to them, the situation has grounded educational, economic and sociopolitical activities.
The elders under the auspices of Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development in a statement on Tuesday lamented that the crisis in the region was underreported by the media, and once more reiterated earlier call on President Buhari to sack the service chiefs and totally restructure the nation’s security architecture.
The statement signed by the National Coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni said the situation in the region was not getting any better hence demand for appointment of new service chiefs.
They again reiterated earlier threat to mobilize Nigerians from other parts of the country against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general elections if their demands for the administration to stop the killings in their region through adoption of new approach was ignored.
The elders however, hailed the appointment of the former Military Administrator of Lagos State, General Buba Marwa as Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, by the president, describing it as a right step in the right direction.
Noting that drug abuse was one of the major promoters of insecurity in the North, the Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development called on the new NDLEA boss to be more decisive with drugs peddlers, with a view to ending the menace not only in the region but also other parts of the country.
“We wish to confirm that the entire North is still under siege from Boko Haram, banditry, Kidnaping and other forms of criminality. This ugly security situation we noticed, has been underreported. We are concerned over this poor media coverage by the media,” it said.
The group added “The inability of the service chiefs to change the game against terrorists, bandits and kidnappers threatening the continued existence of the region despite the heavy investment made by the president so far to ensure restoration of peace, is no doubt worrisome to us. We believe wholeheartedly too, that this development is a source of great concern to all patriotic Nigerians out there.”
“From what is on ground, it would take the North East more than 100 years to recover even if the war stops today,” they claimed.
“As we write this to present our plight to the public, there is no school opened to academic activities in the region, except perhaps in Maiduguri metropolis of Borno State. Farmers can’t go to farms anymore especially in the North East, fearing our concerns of severe famine if the situation is not immediately addressed.
“Also, markets, buying and selling besides other economic activities have been brought to a total halt as a result of the activities of terrorists, bandits and kidnappers. There is equally no social activities anymore in the region as people preferably stay in their various houses now to avert being prowled on by the adversaries,” the statement said.
“We express our profound gratitude to the president for the appointment of our son, General Buba Marwa as the Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA).
“We must confess that it is a right step in the right direction because drug abuse is one of the major banes of security in the North. We know his pedigree and we are sure he would deliver on his mandate,” the group said.
The elders said that restructuring the security architecture will give the war against insurgency a big boost.
“Until we change the security architecture, nothing meaningful will be achieved in the war against insecurity,” it claimed.
The group said it would not hesitate to move all out and canvass for votes against the ruling APC in the 2023 election, thus costing the president opportunity to have a successor of his choice should their demand not heeded to.
“We also wish to remind Mr president that for you to be successful and an accomplished president, your party should succeed you when you take a bow.
“Nigerians should be happy to vote for your party but Mr President’s continued refusal to listen to Nigerians on the restructuring of the security architecture is rapidly threatening the chances of APC in 2023 and urgent steps need to be taken to restore public confidence in the party.
“Mr President, we in the North are the backbone of your party and if nothing is done soonest to address the issue of insecurity on our land, we will have no choice than to begin to mobilize against APC come 2023,” it reiterated.
According to the coalition, “The current service chiefs have tried so far but it is obvious they are now bereft of new ideas and zeal to change the game against adversaries, hence the need for them to leave the centre state of our security management thus giving younger officers with fresh and innovative ideals on emerging security problems to come in.”