Prof. Ango Abdullahi (l) and President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

Poverty, Insecurity: Buhari has failed Nigerians— Northern Elders’ Forum

* Ango Abdullahi a paper tiger, NEF lacks credible membership  ─Presidency replies

Isola Moses

In view of the worsening security and attendant abject poverty across Nigeria, and following the House of Representatives’ recent called for the sack of the Service Chiefs, the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) also has called for a total overhaul of the nation’s security architecture

The decision is with a view to competently tackling all the security challenges confronting the nation, reports have said.

ConsumerConnect gathered that Prof. Ango Abdullahi, Convener of the Northern Elders’ Forum, in a statement, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration has failed to secure the citizens from incessant attacks by bandits and other terrorist groups.

The Forum also lamented that poverty, particularly in Northern Nigeria, and massive social security have worsened under his administration.

“With this type of mindset, it is difficult to see how President Buhari can accept the challenge to radically improve his handling of our security situation.

“Nonetheless, we believe that Nigerians must continue to raise our voices and organise through all legitimate means to demand that the administration addresses major failings in his perception of our situation and his response to our demands for our rights to security,” the statement said.

The Northern Elders’ Forum particularly condemned the insurgents’ tactics of targeting Christians and publicising their executions.

It also appealed to religious leaders not to fall into the trap of insurgents setting them against one another.

NEF, on community policing, has recommended the adoption of a more vigorous and inclusive process, but it asked the state governments to exercise higher levels of restraint and responsibility in the manner they respond to security challenges.

As regards the recent restriction order by the Lagos State Government on the operation of commercial motorcycles (Okada) and tricycle (Keke) riders, it urged the Northern state governments to mobilise and support the affected riders from the North who may wish to relocate to the region.

Recall that the Economic Advisory Council (AEC) also raised concerns over the relatively slow rate at which the nation’s economy is growing in recent times.

Member of the EAC had expressed the position during their visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, FCT.

However, in a swift reaction to NEF’s position on the state of the nation, the Presidency has blasted the Forum over its latest pronouncements on salient national issues.

Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement Sunday, February 9, described the Prof. Abdullahi, Chairman of NEF and former Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, as “a General without an army”.

The statement stressed that Nigerians know the true state of things in the country, and do not require what it called “a paper tiger” to tell them.

The statement read: “Professor Ango Abdullahi on Sunday signed a long-winding statement on many issues relating to the North, and purportedly to the country.

“The former Vice-Chancellor signed the statement under the banner of Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF).

“Hearing that title, you would think the body was a conglomeration of true elders. But the truth is that NEF is just Ango Abdullahi, and Ango Abdullahi is NEF.”

It further slams NEF, that “it is a quasi-organisation that boasts of no credible membership, and its leader is akin to a General without troops.”

“NEF is merely waving a flag that is at half-mast. President Buhari steadily and steadfastly focuses on the task of retooling Nigeria, and discerning Nigerians know the true state of the nation.

“They don’t need a paper tiger to tell them anything,” Presidency’s statement added.

Kindly Share This Story