…threaten to make Nigeria ungovernable!
EDDY OCHIGBO, Kaduna
Concerned Nigerian youths, under the aegis of Nigerian Youth Decide (NYD) and Arewa Lives Matter (ALM), have issued a 14-day ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari to summon the courage of a soldier and exercise the political will to end the wanton killings of innocent Nigerians or else they would make the country ungovernable.
A press statement jointly signed by the President of NYD Ambassador Uchechukwu Ekpere Paul and the convener of ALM, Hon Billal Adamu Halilu, made available to NATIONAL ACCORD in Kaduna, stated that since it “is the responsibility of government to provide adequate security, peace and welfare for Nigerians, it was high time for the political leadership to wake from its slumber and reverse the worsening blood letting in the country.
“Command and control of our security agencies are vested in the Federal Government of Nigeria. Prior to 2015, Nigeria had severe challenges with insecurity, and gladly elected President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Major General and former Head of State, to solve our deep-rooted insecurity challenges”, the youth leaders stated pointing out that In 2019, Nigerians re-elected the President Buhari hoping that he would make Nigeria safer, “better and more peaceful, but alas the reverse is now the case”.
The statement went on: “This was in order to continue the fight against a number of challenges including terrorism, insurgency, cattle rustling, farmer/herder clashes, cybercrime, secession threats, kidnapping and banditry. Most of these problems are started in the Northern part of the country. As such, people from other regions of the country fear the worst that it is only a question of time before it spreads like a wildfire to the rest of the country. The fear is becoming a reality, and Nigerians cannot accept the failure of the government and normalise living in fear as part of our culture.
“Fast forward to 2020, security has increasingly deteriorated. More states are under threat and security challenges have increased overwhelmingly. People are killed, injured or kidnapped, almost on a daily basis. Farms and houses are razed. Nigerians are increasingly displaced in their thousands. Families that were living happily have been reduced to pain, anguish and a state of sober melancholy.
“According to data sourced from the ‘Independent Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)’, Nigeria Security Tracker April 2019 to May 2020, 7,986 lives have been lost to the violence; 7,036 (88.10%) took place in Northern Nigeria, while 893 (11.18%) occurred in Southern Nigeria and 57 (0.71%) in FCT Abuja.
“Every right-thinking Nigerian will agree that none of all these violent deaths are acceptable under any circumstances. Sadly, the above data suggests a Nigerian is eight times more likely to die from violence, if they are based in the North”.
According to the statement,”It is being reported that some of the perpetrators are being paid to ceasefire if we have ceded the territory of Nigeria, such that we have to pay or reward these criminals for (not) killing us and for our existence. Even more worrisome is the fact that most of the states in the frontline of the battle against insurgency are amongst the poorest in Nigeria.”.
While the National security apparatus is controlled by the federal government, every governor is the Chief Security Officer in his or her state. Therefore, they are to ensure synergy between security agencies and avoid polarizing them, the statement added.
The youth leaders reiterated that governors are expected to use the well-established structures of traditional institutions for intelligence gatherin and should ensure the provision of funds and incentives to motivate and encourage the parties involved in the fight.
“It has been established that some of these perpetrators are not Nigerians. Our porous borders have given them room to sneak into the country illegally and kill Nigerians on Nigerian soil. They move around freely without fear and strike at any hour of their choice. More worrying is the fact that huge sum of money has previously been allocated to cater for military supplies and our troops. Even the security votes to state governments have yielded fewer positive results in securing lives and properties in their states”, they explained, adding there “is urgent need for a more motivated security and military-hierarchy with fresh ideas to act decisively as witnessed during the early days of the APC administration.
“Mr President, Nigerians are disappointed with the nonchalant attitude of the Federal and State governments with regards to killings in the North. There are no significant, committed and dedicated efforts to show that Federal Government is serious and completely on top of the situation.
“In summary, in the next fourteen days, if the killings in Northern Nigeria continues and government fails to heed to our prayers we will act. The State Houses of Assemblies in the nineteen northern states will be occupied by us until peace is restored in our communities. Save and secure the lives of our citizens”, the concerned youth leaders summed up.