Northern elders under the aegis of Northern Elders for Peace and Development have raised their voices against the worsening state of insecurity in the region, saying the ugly development was going out of control with little or nothing urgent being done to arrest it.
In a statement by their national coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni, the northern elders decried the alarming rate of killings of both security personnel and civilians since the beginning of the current year, and claimed that the actual situation of developments in the region was being downplayed.
TheFact Nigeria reports that they lashed out on those they said were entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining security in the region, for allegedly not giving President Muhammadu Buhari the necessary briefings and true situation of security development in the region.
The northern elders, according to the statement, declared their support of the president’s directive that no ransom be paid to abductors, neither should negotiations be entered into with bandits again. They also warned against amnesty for terrorists, positing that ransom and negotiation were two major ingredients fueling abductions and other nefarious activities of bandits and terrorists in the country.
“We write to decry the rising state of insecurity in the North East in particular and Northern Nigeria at large and the deliberate attempts by some very highly placed government officials to use some unpatriotic online media to be down playing the true situation on ground. This is unpatriotic and unacceptable to us.
“We wish to draw the attention of these unpatriotic elements to the fact that engaging in this unwholesome act and at the same time expecting different result is impossible,” the group said in the statement.
The elders vowed not to sit in silence in the face of the worsening insecurity in their region, given that farmers were no longer going to their farms, and citizens in the region no longer sleep with both eyes closed.
They tasked security heads to sit up to their responsibilities to end the security challenges.
“As a people trusted with security by Mr President, they should be patriotic to tell him the true situation of security in the North East in particular and Northern Nigeria as a whole at all times, rather than desperately trying to cover up the situation to the detriment of human lives and property,” they said.
According to the group, ”We observed that the insecurity in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states is getting worse by the day. As a matter of fact, it has degenerated in the last one month to a point of very serious concern.
“We are sure that this has been so because Mr President is not getting the right briefings from those entrusted with the situation.
“It is regrettable that many people are being killed on a daily basis in the region just as tens of soldiers are being killed unreported especially in the North East.
The elders charged those trusted with security and welfare of the people must be sincere in briefing Mr President so that he can give them the needed support and logistics to crush the worrisome situation once and for all.
“We are worried hence the need to speak out especially given that the affected area is our home base. We live here with our children and our parents.
“It’s so disheartening to see our old parents who should be resting in their old age, running helter skelter everyday for safety while some people sit in the comfort of their air conditioned cars and offices making money from our misfortunes. This is highly unacceptable and we will not be silent in calling a spade a spade.
“The world must know that our people are suffering,” the statement added.
The elders further decried the use of some online media by public officers to give false report of the situation thereby denying the public from knowing true security situation.
“We wish to advise those unpatriotic online media who are embellishing the situation in the North East and some parts of Northern Nigeria for personal gains that they have just one country. If we allow terrorists take the North from us, we will all bear the consequence, as the adversaries, having done with the North, will spread their tentacles beyond.
“This is why we must see beyond personal gains in our national assignment”, the group said, advising that, ”National unity should be our watchword.”
They reiterated their undying love for President Buhari and his policies, saying he meant well for the country.
“We wish to reiterate that we love Mr President and everything about his policies. We are more than ever convinced that he has good plans for Nigeria and should not allow some unpatriotic and self-serving public servants ruin his goodwill.
“He should be reminded that any public servant who does not do his work effectively should be shown the way out immediately,” they said in the statement.
The northern elders appealed to all the northern governors to adopt Mr President’s position on no negotiation and amnesty for bandits.
“We advise that they should use the money for the supposed amnesty programme, ransom and negotiations to acquire state-of-the art technology with a view to ending insecurity on our land once and for all”, the group said.