Borno killings: When Northern leaders spoke truth to power

The Herculean task of containing insurgency and other heinous crimes ravaging the North and the 2023 presidency are two dominant issues in the political circle. In this report, KUNLE ODEREMI and STEPHEN GBADAMOSI give an insight into some accompanying issues.

ONE of the major discourses that dominated the political space during the week was the accusation by leaders of Arewa against President Muhammadu Buhari that he had failed governance test by allowing insecurity and poverty to thrive in the country. As if that was not enough, the masses of the people of Borno, last Wednesday, also registered their displeasure with the president when he paid the state a visit to commiserate with them over the death of 30 travelers reportedly murdered by the Boko Haram terrorists.

The media had reported that the people, from whom the president had expected cheers, rented the air with shouts of “ba ma so, ba ma yi,” which literally means “we don’t want; we won’t do it.”

To many analysts, it appears that various strata of the Northern society are waking up to the alleged lack of capacity in the Buhari-led government. Borno, in particular, is regarded as one of the states where President Buhari is highly loved, respected and held like a god. While his rival, a fellow Northerner, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had a little above 71,000 votes, Buhari recorded a whopping 836,000 plus votes in Borno.

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), at a press conference in Zaria, Kaduna State, on Monday, flayed the manner the president had been running the country. Led by Professor Ango Abdullahi, the body handed over the verdict yesterday when it reviewed the state of the nation in Kaduna State. Professor Ango Abdullahi, who spoke on behalf of the NEF, said; “it has become necessary and appropriate, however, to make public the position of the forum on important matters that affect the manner Nigerians live, and the future we must address.

“The forum regrets that by any standard of judgment, the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has failed the nation in the vital area of improving its security. Poverty, particularly in the North, and massive social security have worsened under this administration.

“The relationship between insecurity and poverty is fundamental, but the administration does not appear to have any idea on what will provide relief or solution. It gives the forum no pleasure to say that it had warned Nigerians that President Buhari lacked the will, the competence and commitment to lead it into a secure and prosperous future before the 2019 elections.

“It is shocking that in spite of unprecedented consensus among Nigerians that the administration requires a new resolve, approach and leadership in the fight against the nation’s multiple security challenges, President Buhari appears either totally isolated or in deep denial over the result of his failures to secure Nigerians.

“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.”

In a related development, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has vowed to defend every soul in the South East amid the pervasive insecurity in the land.

It noted that the prevailing situation across the federation was a “clear indication that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is incapable of protecting the people.”Rising from its Imeobi meeting (the highest decision-making organ) yesterday in Enugu, Ohanaeze warned that it would no longer fold its arms and watch Igbo being slaughtered in different parts of the country.

The group’s President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who read the resolution of the meeting, urged Ndigbo to be vigilant and continue doing their businesses in line with the law.

The statement read in part: “Ohaneze Ndigbo having extensively considered and deliberated the lone agenda of the meeting, which is ‘Security in Ala Igbo’, hereby states categorically that Ndigbo will not stand by and watch their people slaughtered. That Ohanaeze will defend every soul in Igboland.”Also, Governors of the South East zone are to name their regional security outfit soon.

Addressing reporters yesterday after a meeting of the South East Governors’ Forum yesterday in Enugu, the chairman and chief executive of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, said efforts were on to secure the nod of the houses of assembly through enactment of a law to back the move.He added that the Federal Government had been put on notice.

However, the Yoruba Ko’ya Movement has threatened to mobilise South Westerners to exit Nigeria should President Buhari fail to contain the excesses of Miyetti Allah and the orgy of killings in the country.

In a statement by the convener, Otunba ‘Deji Osibogun, the group charged the President to order the immediate arrest and prosecution of all the leaders of Miyetti Allah that had claimed responsibilities for attacks leading to the death of over 3,000 Nigerians in the last four years across the south and Middle Belt.Besides, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday blamed the federal and state governments for the pervasive insecurity in the land.

It regretted that many states were organising their internal security networks without treating the causes of the problem at hand.The body said it had been warning governments to cater for the needs of the vulnerable in the society to no avail.

The University of Ibadan chapter chairman of ASUU, Professor Deji Omole, stated that instead of budgeting for people’s welfare, government at the three tiers had been spending billions of naira to buy security equipment from countries that have invested heavily in research and training.

Also yesterday, the Kaduna State Police Command confirmed the abduction at the weekend of Maryam Abdullahi, the daughter of former Vice Chancellor (VC) of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Professor Abdulahi Mustapha. In a statement, the force’s spokesman, DSP Yakubu Sabo, who confirmed the incident, added that on receipt of the information, policemen were promptly mobilised to the scene, leading to the killing of one of the hoodlums in the ensuing gun duel with several others escaping with gun injuries and the victim.

Northern elders have said that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed Nigerians in tackling insecurity in the country – The elders also said that it appears the president has run out of options and strategy to end insurgency – The leadership of the forum also called for a total overhaul of the top security chiefs in the country Read more:

The leadership of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has condemned the rising insecurity across regions in the country especially the north. Professor Ango Abdullahi, the chairman of the NEF said President Muhammadu Buhari as failed as a leader in the area of Nigeria’s security. Speaking to journalists after a meeting in Zaria, Kaduna state, Abdullahi said President Buhari appears helpless in finding solutions to insecurity as well as poverty in the country. Abdullahi said: “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.” Read more:

Speaking ahead of the 2023 general election, Abdullahi said the NEF will throw its weight behind a candidate who can find solutions to problems bedevilling zone. Read more:

The elders said that it appears the president has run out of options and strategy to end insurgency Source: Twitter “The Forum regrets that by any standard of judgement, the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has failed the nation in the vital area of improving its security. Poverty, particularly in the north, and massive social security have worsened under this administration,” Abdullahi said. He further called for a thorough overhaul of the leadership of Nigeria’s security and public safety agencies. He said there must be an injection of higher levels of competence, integrity and accountability in the manner Military troops, the Police and security agencies deal with security challenges. “We condemn the tactic of targeting Christians and publicising their executions by an insurgency seeking to exploit our different faiths.” Read more:

The Northern Elders Forum called for a total overhaul of the top security chiefs in the country Source: Depositphotos “We also condemn the murder of thousands of Muslims and Christians in communities which the insurgency has made permanent targets in the last decade,” he said. Read more:

Abdullahi noted that there is no better time for Nigerians to remain united than now. Read more:

Meanwhile, previously reported that the president had condemned the killing of some residents of Maiduguri, Borno state capital city by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group. President Buhari said his administration will continually frustrate the operations of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, and bring it to an end. ( – We have upgraded to serve you better Buhari inducts combat helicopters to fight insurgency, says he won’t fail Nigerians Read more:

The presidency has blasted the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) over a statement made by the group on the state of the nation.

A statement, issued in Abuja on Sunday, by the Special Adviser to the President(Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, described the chairman of the group and former vice-chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Professor Ango Abdullahi, as a General without an army.

The statement recalled that the northern elder had sided with another candidate during the 2019 presidential election, but were beaten together by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the statement, Nigerians know the true state of things in the country and do not require what is said, was 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 is a quasi-organisation that boasts of no credible membership, and its leader is akin to a General without troops.

“Before the 2019 presidential election, the one-man army called NEF had shown its antipathy against President Muhammadu Buhari, and its preference for another candidate. They all got beaten together.

“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.”

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