The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has lamented the spate of kidnapping and armed banditry in the north.
The Forum also lambasted President Muhammadu Buhari’s government over the state of insecurity in the north, noting that northerners have been pushed to the wall.
Convener of the Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, in a statement on Sunday said people of the north were now completely at the mercy of armed gangs who roam towns and villages at will, killing and kidnapping people and wrecking havoc.
He said the current situation in the north demonstrated that President Buhari’s administration has failed in provision of security.
According to Prof. Ango, “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.
“The Forum has joined millions of others in prayers and in giving advice 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 a peaceful and responsible manner, and it urges governments to respect the rights of citizens to express their opinions peacefully.
“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.” NEF said.
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