…Say it’ll take over 100 years for North to recover from destruction
…Vow to mobilise South against APC in 2023, if…
…Hail appointment of ex-Lagos MILAD, Marwa as NDLEA chair
…Note appointment will help tackle the drug abuse problem in region
…Insecurity is being reversed, armed forces doing better — Lawan
…Bandits kill four, abduct don in Kaduna
By Joseph Erunke
Northern elders again raised the alarm yesterday that the region was under siege of insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and other violent crimes, saying it will take a hundred years for it to recover from the scale of destruction caused by insecurity.
The elders, operating under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development, spoke as bandits suspected to be kidnappers again killed four persons and abducted a professor, Aliyu Mohammed, in Zaria, Kaduna State, Monday night.
They asked President Muhammadu Buhari to devise a new approach to restore peace in the troubled area, arguing that insecurity has grounded all educational, economic and socio-political activities in the region.
The elders, who claimed that the ugly situation in the north was being under-reported by the media, reiterated their call on President Buhari to also, as a matter of urgency, sack the service chiefs and totally restructure the nation’s security architecture.
On service chiefs
National Coordinator of the coalition, Engr. Zana Goni, insisted that it was time for the President to relieve the nation’s security heads and try new hands since, according to him, the situation in the region is not getting any better.
Goni threatened that the elders would mobilize Nigerians from other parts of the country against the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2023 general elections, if their demands for the administration to stop the killings in the region was ignored.
He, however, hailed the appointment of the former Military Administrator of Lagos State,General Buba Marwa, retd, as chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, by the President, describing it as a right step in the right direction.
Hail Marwa’s appointment
Noting that drug abuse was one of the major promoters of insecurity in the North, Goni called on the new NDLEA boss to be more decisive in dealing with drugs peddlers,with a view to ending the menace not only in the region but also in other parts of the country.
He said: “We wish to confirm that the entire North is still under siege from Boko Haram, banditry, kidnaping and other forms of criminality. This ugly security situation we noticed,has been under-reported and we are concerned over this poor media coverage.
“The inability of the service chiefs to change the game against terrorists, bandits and kidnappers threatening the continued existence of the region despite the heavy investment made by the president so far to ensure restoration of peace, is worrisome to us.
‘’We believe wholeheartedly too,that this development is a source of great concern to all patriotic Nigerians out there.
“From what is on ground, it would take the North East more than 100 years to recover even if the war stops today,” they claimed.
“As we write this to present our plight to the public, there is no school opened to academic activities in the region, except perhaps in Maiduguri metropolis of Borno State.
‘’Farmers can’t go to farms anymore especially in the North East, fearing our concerns of severe famine if the situation is not immediately addressed.
“Also, markets, buying and selling besides other economic activities have been brought to a total halt as a result of the activities of terrorists, bandits and kidnappers. There is equally no social activities anymore in the region as people preferably stay in their various houses now to avert being prowled on by the adversaries.
“We express our profound gratitude to the president for the appointment of our son,General Buba Marwa as the Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
“We must confess that it is a right step in the right direction because drug abuse is one of the major banes of security in the North.
‘’We know his pedigree and we are sure he would deliver on his mandate.”
Dwelling more on the need for urgent restructuring of security architecture, the coalition said:”We kindly appeal to Mr President to equally and urgently restructure the entire security architecture so as to give the war against insurgence a big boost.
“Until we change the security architecture, nothing meaningful will be achieved in the war against insecurity.’’
Vows to move against APC
The group said it would not hesitate to move all out and canvass for votes against the ruling APC in the 2023 election, and erode the President’s opportunity to have a successor of his choice should he fail to heed their demands.
“We also wish to remind Mr president that for you to be successful and an accomplished president, your party should succeed you when you take a bow.
“Nigerians should be happy to vote for your party but Mr President’s continued refusal to listen to Nigerians on the restructuring of the security architecture is rapidly threatening the chance of APC in 2023 and urgent steps need to be taken to restore public confidence on the party.
“Mr President,we in the North are the backbone of your party and if nothing is done soonest to address the issue of insecurity on our land, we will have no choice than to begin to mobilize against APC come 2023.
“The current service chiefs have tried so far but it is obvious they are now bereft of new ideas and zeal to change the game against adversaries, hence the need for them to leave the centre state of our security management thus giving younger officers with fresh and innovative ideals on emerging security problems to come in, Goni said.
Insecurity is being reversed, armed forces doing better — Lawan
However, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said yesterday that the insecurity in the country was being reversed, lauding the armed forces in restoring security to parts of Nigeria.
Lawan, who stated this when he received a delegation from Adamawa State which paid him a visit in appreciation to the National Assembly for converting the Modibbo Adama University, Yola, into a conventional university that can run medical programmes alongside social and management sciences, said the conversion of the university was the outcome of a collaborative effort between the legislature and the executive arms of government.
He said recent developments showed an improvement in efforts made by the armed forces towards addressing the spate of insecurity in parts of the country.
He said: “Those of us in position of leadership today are probably more challenged than any set of leaders. We need to pray, but we also need to act, work hard and apply ourselves fully and work with commitment to ensure that we serve Nigerians.
“Nothing is impossible, this situation of insecurity gradually is being reversed. I am particularly happy with recent developments by our armed forces. They are doing better than they were doing before.
“I’m sure that the economy will also start to improve, and we will get out of recession that we entered last month.
“With the implementation of the capital budget 2020 up till the end of March, and of course, the start of the implementation of the 2021 budget, the economy will receive a boost.”
Bandits kill 4, abduct don in Kaduna
Meanwhile, bandits suspected to be kidnappers have killed four persons and abducted a Professor, Aliyu Mohammed in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who confirmed the incident in a statement in Kaduna yesterday, explained that the bandits invaded the residence of the professor who also holds the title of Wazirin Wusasa in the night and kidnapped him, killed his son, while his nephew, Abba Kabiru, was injured during the attack.
He said two members of a local vigilante group in Giwa Local Government Area were also killed by bandits in another attack.
Aruwan said: “Bandits on motorcycles swarmed Iyatawa village of Giwa local council, and fortunately, groups of local vigilantes confronted the bandits and eventually forced them to disperse.
“Sadly, two of the local vigilantes, Malam Auwalu and Alassan Shehu, were killed during the encounter, as ground and air patrols were quickly mobilized to the location for a comprehensive engagement.’’
The commissioner also revealed another attack on commuters last Sunday by bandits on the road from Anaba village to Birnin Yero town in Igabi Local Government Area.
He noted that a resident of the area, Lawali Abduklhameed, was shot dead by the gunmen when he attempted to escape the attack.