By Dirisu Yakubu
Amid growing insecurity in some parts of the country, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has questioned what he referred to as a conspiracy of silence by Borno and Northern leaders, describing their failure to speak up in condemnation of the senseless killings in the region as unfortunate.
Dogara, who stated this, yesterday, in Lafia, Nasarawa State capital, while addressing Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential campaign rally, urged Nigerians not to forget that the 2019 election was a referendum on insecurity and hunger in the land.
“When this thing (insecurity) was prevalent in 2015, we had Borno elders talking. Where are Borno elders now? Where are the leaders of northern Nigeria? Now, that this problem has become endemic, what are they saying?” he queried.
According to him, if concrete steps are not taken to checkmate the menace, “we are not going to have a country.”
The speaker, known for his persistent criticisms of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, said unlike in the past, security challenge had become endemic in some states of the federation.
He said: “On the issue of insecurity, all of us know what is happening in Borno, Abuja, Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Nasarawa , Benue and Plateau states. I cannot even mention all. It is a general problem in the country. However, I only mentioned the states where the situation is so endemic.”
He stressed that it had become a collective “responsibility to rescue Nigeria from the clutches of insecurity, because without security, we cannot even understand the meaning of democracy.”
Dogara further warned on the danger of silence at a time Nigerians ought to rise to speak with one voice.
Describing silence in the face of insecurity as an enabler of the vice, the speaker predicted doom for those who make the mistakes of elevating mere mortals to the status of God for selfish reasons.
“Now the sad commentary about the elite in Nigeria is that we have all by our silence, become enabler to those who have been unable to tackle this insecurity. And you know what enablers do?”
Also speaking, Presidential candidate of PDP, Atiku Abubakar, tasked Nigerians to vote out All Progressives Congress, APC, at the polls, saying a vote for it was a continuation of poverty.
He said: “I want to ask you: do you want to continue with the poverty rate we have in this country? Will you vote for APC? No way. Do you want to continue with the unemployment rate we have in this country? Are you going to vote for APC? Never. Do you want to continue with the insecurity in this country?
“Before they said it was only in the North-East. Today, the insecurity has gone to North-West, it has gone to North-Central. Do you what to continue with it?” he asked to which the mammoth crowd replied, “No.”