The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), an umbrella body of Northerners across the three regions, says the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is a “woeful failure” because of the rising insecurity of communities and properties in the Northern part of the country.
The NEF noted that the recent escalation of attacks by bandits, rustlers and insurgents has left it with only conclusion that the people of the North were now completely at the mercy of armed gangs who roam towns and villages at will, wrecking havoc.
Convener, Northern Elders Forum, Professor Ango Abdullahi, said in a statement by the group 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.”
The North, the statement further stated, had 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.
It added that some groups in the North were planning peaceful protest over the situation and urged the government to allow the aggrieved people to carry out the protest without molestation.
It equally advised those planning the protest to be peaceful in carrying the protest which NEF said was 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 what the forum described as “unremitting assaults on our lives and livelihood as Northerners”.
The statement reminded the President that provision of security and pursuit of economic welfare of citizens were the only two constitutional responsibilities of the state which all leaders must achieve.
The people, NEF restated, 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.