*describe promise as another lie to deceive Nigerians ahead of polls
*you can’t give what you don’t have, they tell FG
*problems not solved in 7 years can’t be solved in 3 months by same people, they say
By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Northern elders have described the promise of ending Nigeria’s current security challenges in the next three months by the federal government as another bait by the federal authorities to swindle Nigerians of their votes at the coming general elections, saying contrary to government’s expectations, the people will not fall for it.
The elders advised Nigerians against taking any promise by government seriously, saying the administration has penchant for deceiving the people through fake and unrealisable promises without accountability.
In fact, the Northern elders who are operating under the aegis of Coalition of North East Elders for Peace and Development, insisted that government cannot give what it does not have, saying its inability to crush insecurity in the past seven years was a clear indication that it lacked the will to restore Nigeria to the path of glory.
The group which said this in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni, on Wednesday, was reacting to the promise of the government that it would end security challenges in the country by December.
Recall that the government at a joint news conference in Abuja, yesterday, attended by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi rtd, as well as the Police Affairs Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Dingyadi, again, assured Nigerians that it would flush out terrorists and bandits in the country by December, 2022.
Aregbesola, speaking at the event, had said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has mapped out workable strategies to wipe out insecurity in the country by the end of the year and flush out the terrorists from every part of Nigeria.
“Our nation is faced and continue to face security challenges; the origin of these changes we must all know preceded our administration, regardless of what anybody wants to believe or say.
“Insecurity preceded us and there are insurgents in the North East, bandits in parts of the North West and North Central, militants in the South South, separatists in the South East and ritual killers in the South West.
“All over the country, we have constant attacks on pipelines, electricity cables and other critical national infrastructure. Crude and refined oil theft and kidnapping for ransom and farmers/herders clashes. Security agencies rose to these challenges and have largely degraded the group’s constituting the threats.
“What we face mostly now are clashes of cowardly attacks, from those who have been routed in one locality or the other, moving to give the false impression that they are still strong…that is the essence of the scattered nature of their strikes.
“Our ultimate goal is to eliminate them all together and restore total peace in every inch of the Nigerian soil, that we are going to do, by God’s grace, by December of this year.
“It is sounding tall but take it home; we are determined to ensure that every inch of the Nigerian soil is safe. The determination is there and the order has been given.”
Reacting to this,the Northern elders who claimed that Buhari’s aloofness to security slided Nigeria to the rock bottom, dismissed the promise, describing it as “another bait for 2023 elections”, even as they said the people have become wiser not to fall for cheap propaganda anymore.”
With pervasive insecurity, they described President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of insurgency and terrorists’ attacks as hastening the nation’s descent to a failed state.
The elders regretted that Nigerians have been on the edge with regards to how sanctity of human life has reduced to the lowest ebb.
“Our verdict is that with no discernible strategy to wage war against terrorists, the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari has not only failed Nigerians but has also allowed insurgents to gradually make inroads and shut down governance,”they said.
While recalling that, “After holding the nation on the throat in recent weeks with launching attacks repeatedly across several states and kidnapping innocent citizens for ransom, Boko Haram insurgents, in a viral video, threatened to kidnap President Buhari and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai”, the elders asked, “how can they give what they don’t have?”
“The terrorists, who kidnapped over 60 passengers on an Abuja-Kaduna-bound train on March 28, have now become more emboldened, threatening to kill those captives remaining, while threatening to destroy the country. This is besides the recent attack on the elite Presidential Guards Brigade, which led to loss of lives.
A forced closure of Federal Government Colleges, a shift in the venue of Call to Bar by the Body of Benchers for security reasons, just as the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) leadership has called for security reinforcement across its camps are enough pointers to thr fact that government cannot give what they are promising”, the group said
It is ridiculous that a government that failed in the last seven years to restore Nigeria to its right path, is promising to end insecurity in December. We view this as another bait for 2023 elections and Nigerians won’t fall for that anymore”,they insisted
The group said:”While we do not expect President Buhari to personally take up weapons and give the armed non-state actors a direct fight, we hasten to say he was expected to appoint effective and committed people who could make a difference and promptly replace those who have not been able to produce results within the security agencies.”
The Northern elders noted with regret that, “Corruption, inefficiency, ineffectiveness, deceit and lies have become the hallmark of the fight on terror. This is why Abuja is almost at the precipice of collapsing under the massive and determined attacks by the terrorists.”