DISTURBED by the insecurity in the country, especially the recent killing of farmers in Borno State, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), on Wednesday, said it had become imperative for President Muhammadu Buhari to resign.
The Northern Elders Forum, in a statement by its Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem BabaAhmed, said leaders who failed to provide security should leave the stage.
Corroborating his position while featuring on a Channels Television programme on Wednesday evening, Baba-Ahmed said Buhari should resign having failed in his sworn responsibility to ensure the security of citizens.
He noted that the call for Buhari to resign had become overdue going by worsening security and his inability to address the situation about six years of being in charge of government.
Noting wanton killings, banditry, rustling, terrorism, the forum expressed worry that there was no evidence of the willingness on the part of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to combat insecurity in the country.
The forum particularly expressed outrage at the regular killings of farmers in Borno and maiming of people in many other parts of the North and the country at large.
For fear of being killed or kidnapped, Baba-Ahmed lamented that many farming communities exercised fear to plant or harvest crops.
This is as he warned that the nation was at risk of famine should farmers continue to be unable to go to farm owing to insecurity.
Across the two fora where he spoke on Wednesday, Baba-Ahmed said, “We are outraged at the killing of farmers in Borno and many other people on a daily basis in many parts of the North.
“Our voices have been raised without pausing for a long time against pervasive insecurity in our region.
“Life has lost its value and more citizens are coming under the attack of criminals. We do not see any evidence of willingness on the part of those concerned to provide security over Nigerians.
“The facts on the ground support what we say. The president swore on the Qu’ran as president of Nigeria to secure the lives of citizens. He has failed to do so over and over again.
“This is his fifth year in office and the situation of security under him is getting worse and there is no indication that it is likely to improve.
“Clearly, he has failed in the number one responsibility of a leader, which is to protect citizens. We have taken our time to assess the situation; we didn’t want to rush to judgment; we wanted to give him a chance like everybody says leadership is very difficult and challenging, but for four, five, six, seven years, the same president was saying two years before he assumed responsibility to Goodluck Jonathan to step aside and give him or others responsibility to run the country.
“He has had a longer time to study the situation; he is a General; he is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces; he is a military man, so he does not have an excuse about not knowing how to fight wars. He put people in charge; they are still in charge; we are losing this war; more internal security challenges are becoming manifest; more people are dying. Every day, people die in this country. As we said in our statement, life has lost value.
“What do you say to a Nigerian president under whom our people are dying? How do you explain what happened in Borno? A failure of security! A failure of leadership! What else do you say than to say to Mr President clearly, you can’t secure the lives of Nigerians and if there is honour, respect for public opinion, there is no reason why he should continue.”
Further in the statement, the forum described as lame and misleading the position of Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, that the Borno farmers did not get permission from the military to harvest produce.
“The lame excuse that farmers had not sought permission from the military to harvest produce merely exposes the misleading claims that our military has secured vast territories from the insurgency.”
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