By Charly Agwam
Angry northern youths under the umbrella of Youths Progressive Alliance (northern zone) have reacted to comments made by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu who was quoted to have said the 43 rice farmers who died at the hands of Boko Haram in Borno state did not get security clearance to go to their farms.
In a press conference held yesterday in Bauchi, Coordinator of the group, Barr. Hussaini Saraki lamented that the presidential spokesman lacked sympathy for the 43 dead victims of Boko Haram who died as a result of government’s failure to protect them.
“How could he say that, was it not the same government that said people can go about their businesses because government was in control? Why is he blaming innocent dead people whose only crime was looking for what to eat from the very farms they cultivated? I think there’s something wrong with his head. He should apologize to the families of the 43 deceased victims.
“It is the primary responsibility of government to protect their citizen as contained in Section 14 subsection 2(b) of the 1999 constitution. The killing of the innocent people in the North must be stopped, the government should find a means however possible to bring an end to these senseless killings. We are sad about the gruesome and merciless killing of promising Nigerians in Zabarmari Town of Jere Local Government Area of Borno State,’ he said on the group’s behalf.
The youths flayed northern leaders over acclaimed silence while also urging President Buhari to implement the recommendations of Borno state governor by recruiting youths from the state into the Army.
“The entire North is bleeding and no one seems to care: the leaders among us have choosen to remain silent, watching over innocent people being slaughtered while thousands are displaced and made refugees in their own country. This was not part of the bargain made, neither is it supposed to be the dividends of democracy promised to our people. We therefore want to make it categorically clear that the government should and must find a means to bring an end to all insecurity challenges bedevilling the North.
“While commending the effort of the Federal government for sending strong delegation to condole the family of the deceased victims, we however, call for such a delegation to be accompanied with a highpowered committee that will ensure strict implementation of the recommendation made by Borno state governor, Prof. Babagana
Umara Zulum where he called for the recruitment of the Borno youths into the Nigerian Army, Police and Civil Defense Corps who should be deployed to Borno to help in curbing the security challenges currently facing the state.
“There is need for re-strategizing especially with regards to intelligent gathering and effective collaboration
with various communities of Borno. Its quite obvious that the current strategy is no longer working as could be seen by the recent attack perpetrated by the
insurgents. We equally call on the federal government to ensure that the family of the deceased victims are compensated adequately to relieve them off their pains,” they added.