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“You have woefully failed us” Northern Elders Forum to President Buhari

By Northern Elders Forum
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Being a Statement Of Northern Elders Forum On The State Of Security In The North

Northern Elders Forum (NEF) is alarmed at the rising insecurity of communities and their properties in the North. Recent escalation of attacks by bandits, rustlers and insurgents leave the only conclusion that the people of the North are now completely at the mercy of armed gangs who roam towns and villages at will, wrecking havoc. 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. 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. It is no exaggeration to say that the people of the North have 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.

The situation under which our communities from Kogi to Borno States, from Sokoto to Taraba States live 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 Forum is aware that some citizens are contemplating peaceful protests, which are their constitutional rights, to draw attention of President Buhari and all levels of authority to the plight of people of the North. The Forum urges all citizens to conduct themselves in peaceful and responsible manner, and it urges governments to respect the rights of citizens to express their opinions peacefully. The Forum is also consulting other groups and organizations which share its goals and concerns to lend our voices to the demands for action and relief from the unremitting assaults on our lives and livelihood as Northerners.

The Forum reminds President Muhammadu Buhari that provision of security and pursuit of economic welfare of citizens are the only two constitutional responsibilities of the state which all leaders must achieve. 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. We are tired of excuses and verbal threats which criminals laugh at, and our fellow citizens see as a clear failure of leadership which they see as part of them. Enough is enough.

Professor Ango Abdullahi, CON
Magajin Rafin Zazzau
Convener, Northern Elders Forum