Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has again restated its earlier warning that the nation’s ship of state is in serious danger and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to wake up from his “slumber” and address the situation without further delay.
Spokesman of the group, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, who made the observation when he appeared on Arise Television, said there was urgent need to fix some key parts of the country before 2023 to avert “too massive problems.”
“If I have an opportunity to speak with the president, I will say: ‘Sir, please wake up and smell the coffee, this country is falling apart,” Baba-Ahmed said.
“It is in very serious danger, it is going down under your watch. You swore in 2015 and again in 2019 that you will protect citizens, the territorial integrity of Nigeria. Sorry, sir, you are not doing that, doing it well or you are not doing it at all. And one of the things you should do is to call about 200 to 500 Nigerians, without any preconditions, and say: ‘ladies and gentlemen, I believe that this government will benefit from some quality advice in terms of the way forward.
“Two, take your governors more into confidence, speak to them. They are very important people. They have responsibilities under the constitution and they are able to carry out those responsibilities particularly on matters of security. What do you want? What can we do together? What can I do for you and what can we consider a legitimate idea or a crazy idea?
“Thirdly, please ask real questions about what is going on with the security in this country. Something is wrong. You keep changing things but we see the same result. We are becoming insecure by the day. Either it is your attitude as commander-in-chief of the armed forces or the people you trust to defend and protect us. There must be something about the security that you and the people who are fighting this country don’t understand.
“Why are we being so insecure? Why is it not possible for Nigerians to deal with banditry, kidnappings? These things 2,3 years ago do not exist. Is anybody asking these questions? Is it that you have this harmony in your security agencies? Do you have a way of finding out because we don’t have the time for you to fix this country at your own leisure and the rate you are going, you are too slow and people are smelling a vacuum around your government and this is why you see people saying we don’t want to be part of Nigeria.
“That’s an expression of opinion. When these opinions intensify and become popular as we are beginning to see in some parts of the south-west, south-east. You now have citizens who are now legitimately beginning to think this country represents a threat to us, we don’t want to be part of this country.
“What happened to the country, to the oath you took to protect Nigeria? Those are the kinds of questions I will ask Mr president. Hopefully, he will have some answers and if he doesn’t, the solution will be asking those who know.”
Drums of separation beating loudly –PFN
•Claims Buhari’s silence too loud
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Bishop Wale Oke, president, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle insecurity with all the seriousness it deserves.
He also advised him to bring all Nigerians together through exemplary leadership.
“There is so much pressure and tension in the land due to insurgency being orchestrated by the Boko Haram, kidnapping and banditry.
“The Federal Government should not be negotiating with the bandits, that would be tantamount to treating them with kid gloves,” he said.
Oke, who is the presiding Bishop, Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Ibadan, spoke during a visit by members of Lagos, Ogun and Osun Chapters in Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday.
He described President Buhari’s continuous silence on the nation’s security challenges as disheartening, disturbing and too loud, and urged him to urgently address Nigerians.
“Seriously, President Buhari’s silence is deafening and it’s giving room for speculation and gossips that suggest the government has hands in the sickening situation by indulging and pampering the bandits and the killer Fulani herdsmen, among others.
“He should rise above primordial sentiments and sectional attachment by doing the needful to make the nation more homely for every Nigerian. There is so much pressure and tension in the land, due to insurgency being orchestrated by the Boko Haram, kidnapping, banditry, killer Fulani herdsmen’s palaver, raping, among other ills. All these are self-inflicted.
“We don’t want the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, to be the one that will speak. It is President Buhari himself that we want to hear from on the dreary security situation in the country. Our President should use the opportunity to disassociate his government from the lawlessness currently ravaging the country through the activities of Boko Haram insurgents and the killer Fulani herdsmen.
“He should tell his kinsmen, the Fulani, to stop the mindless killings currently on in the country; arrest and make those culpable to face the wrath of law.Tell the bandits, the killers, the rapists and all those involved in these heinous engagements, the language of law whether they are Fulanis or whatever. Let the nation hear your fatherly voice. People are living in fear, farmers can not go to their farms anymore.
“No doubt, we are at a precarious time because of insecurity and alarmingly, the drums of separation are beating loudly for everyone to hear.
“On behalf of over 45 million members of PFN, I want to implore President Buhari to stand up firmly to bring together, all Nigerians regardless of their tribes and religions.PFN is praying for you. Mr President, and the nation as well.This is because, Nigeria has never been as divided as we are now.
“Kidnappers, bandits, Boko Haram insurgents, killer Fulani herdsmen and rapists, are criminals who the government should not negotiate with.Instead, they should be judged while the protection of lives and property of the citizen is given the needed priority.”
The delegates were led by Apostle Enjimaya Okwuonu, Apostle David Otaru and Prophet Isaiah Adelowokan, for Lagos, Ogun and Osun respectively.