With Yorubas threatening secession over Miyetti Allah and Ohanaeze vowing to protect Igbos as Southwest governors mull their own Amotekun amid pervasive insecurity; Arewa leaders, under the auspices of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), opened “friendly fire” and delivered a very damning and unflattering verdict: President Muhammadu Buhari has failed the governance test by allowing insecurity and poverty to thrive in Nigeria. Led by Professor Ango Abdullahi, the body handed over the verdict yesterday after reviewing the state of the nation at a meeting in the Kaduna state capital of Zaria.
“It gives the forum no pleasure to say that it had warned Nigerians that President Buhari lacked the will, the competence and commitment to lead Nigeria into a secure and prosperous future,” Abdullahi told a press conference, adding, the NEF would have “refrained from comments on major developments relating to management of national security and governance because it is convinced that these are times which require the highest levels of responsibility and circumspection in the manner elders and leaders in the nation contribute to the search for solutions to the multiple problems which face the nation. But it has become necessary and appropriate, however, to make public, the position of the forum on important matters that affect the manner Nigerians live, and the future we must address. The forum regrets that by any standard of judgment, the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has failed the nation in the vital area of improving its security.”
Lamenting the conditions of living in the country, Abdullahi pointed out that “poverty, particularly in the North, and massive social security have worsened under this administration.” His words: “The relationship between insecurity and poverty is fundamental, but the administration does not appear to have any idea on what will provide relief or solution…It is shocking that in spite of unprecedented consensus among Nigerians that the administration requires a new resolve, approach and leadership in the fight against the nation’s multiple security challenges, President Buhari appears either totally isolated or in deep denial over the result of his failures to secure Nigerians. With this type of mindset, it is difficult to see how President Buhari can accept the challenge to radically improve his handling of our security situation,” Abdullahi noted.
Buhari’s indictment by northern leaders came as the Yoruba Ko’ya Movement threatened to mobilize Southwesterners to secede from Nigeria should the President fail to contain the excesses of Miyetti Allah and the orgy of killings in the country. In a statement by the convener, Otunba Deji Osibogun, the group charged Buhari to order the immediate arrest and prosecution of all the leaders of Miyetti Allah that had claimed responsibilities for attacks leading to the death of over 3,000 Nigerians in the last four years across the South and Middle Belt.
In a related development, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has vowed to defend every soul in the Southeast amid the pervasive insecurity in the land. It noted that the prevailing situation across the federation was a “clear indication that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is incapable of protecting the people.” Rising from its Imeobi meeting (the highest decision-making organ) yesterday in Enugu, Ohanaeze warned that it would no longer fold its arms and watch Igbos being slaughtered in different parts of the country.
The group’s President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who read the resolution of the meeting, urged Ndigbo to be vigilant and continue doing their businesses in line with the law. The statement read in part: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo having extensively considered and deliberated the lone agenda of the meeting, which is ‘Security in Ala Igbo’, hereby states categorically that Ndigbo will not stand by and watch their people slaughtered. That Ohanaeze will defend every soul in Igboland.”
Also, Governors of the South East zone are to name their regional security outfit soon. Addressing reporters yesterday after a meeting of the Southeast Governors’ Forum in Enugu, the chairman and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, said efforts were on to secure the nod of the State Houses of Assembly through enactment of a law to back the move, adding that the federal government had been put on notice.
Besides, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday blamed the federal and state governments for the pervasive insecurity in the country, saying it has been warning governments to cater for the needs of the vulnerable in the society to no avail. Speaking through the University of Ibadan chapter chairman of ASUU, Professor Deji Omole; the body stated that instead of budgeting for people’s welfare, government at the three tiers had been spending billions of naira to buy security equipment from countries that have invested heavily in research and training. ASUU regretted that many states were organising their internal security networks without treating the causes of the problem at hand. The body said it had.
Also yesterday, the Kaduna State Police Command confirmed the abduction at the weekend of Maryam Abdullahi, the daughter of former Vice Chancellor (VC) of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Professor Abdulahi Mustapha. In a statement, the force’s spokesman, DSP Yakubu Sabo, who confirmed the incident, added that on receipt of the information, policemen were promptly mobilized to the scene, leading to the killing of one of the hoodlums in the ensuing gun duel with several others escaping with gun injuries and the victim.