By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
The Presidency has taken a swipe at socio-cultural groups like the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, the Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and leaders of other groups over their plot for the replacement of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration over perceived incompetence.
The leaders of the various socio-political organizations in the country had a summit in Abuja on Wednesday and resolved among others “to insist on the emergence of a visionary and dynamic leadership which will effectively deal with our security and economic challenges, and ensure good governance in the country,” saying: “It is imperative to revamp the security architecture of Nigeria.”
Present at the summit were North East Forum for Unity and Development, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and New Generation Representatives (NGR).
But the Presidency in a statement on Friday by the Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja, said it considered the communiqué “issued by some ethnic and sectional groups assembled in Abuja recently as the shedding of crocodile tears by selfish leaders, who felt alienated after a transparent and accountable system halted their disproportionate survival on resources of the state.”
The statement read, “The Presidency considers a communiqué issued by some ethnic and sectional groups assembled in Abuja recently as the shedding of crocodile tears by selfish leaders, who felt alienated after a transparent and accountable system halted their disproportionate survival on resources of the state.
“The communiqué issued by the leaders of some socio-cultural organizations led by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and some ethnic and sectional groups had accused the Muhammadu Buhari administration of incompetence in handling the security situation in the country.
“The Presidency urges Nigerians to ignore the unholy alliance by these groups who are stepping up their assault on the All Progressives Congress administration as it expands its national dominance and moves closer to securing an outright victory in the elections next year.
“The Presidency notes with dismay that the refrain about President Buhari not doing anything about security in the country had turned into the number one fake news item being peddled in the media.”
Continuing, Shehu said, “The Presidency refers all the purveyors of falsehood to a State House press release published a few days ago and signed by Special Adviser to the President, Femi Adesina, which clearly outlined the government’s major achievements and initiatives in tackling security challenges from January to July, 2018.
“The press release which was titled: “Combating Insecurity in the Country: Lest We Forget – Presidency” listed out on going security operations: (1) Nigerian Army’s Exercise Ayem Akpatuma covering Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger States launched in February to tackle cases of kidnappings, herdsmen/farmers’ clashes, among others; (2) Nigerian Air Force establishment of three new Quick Response Wings (QRW) in Taraba, Nasarawa and Benue States respectively, and deployment of Special Forces personnel.
“The press release also noted President Buhari’s approval for the establishment of a new Battalion of the Nigerian Army, as well as a new Police Area Command, in Birnin Gwari Local Council in Kaduna State, as part of measures to scale up security in response to the banditry affecting the area.