The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has declared that Nigeria’s “rapid plunge” into conflict, bloodshed, and anarchy has reached a point where it can no longer tell President Muhammadu Buhari only what he wants to hear.
In a statement, ACF Secretary-General Murtala Aliyu urged the president to reprioritize his programmes and provide more funds to alleviate the country’s persistent insecurity.
According to him, Nigeria’s security issue has worsened over the past several months, and there has been a frightening increase in violence and bloodshed.
“Criminal gangs, bandits, armed robbers, secessionist militants, and those calling themselves caliphate warriors have laid siege to Nigeria. Especially in northern states.”
“Although we are among his most fervent supporters and have always wished him well, Nigeria’s quick spiral into conflict, violence, and lawlessness has reached a stage where we can no longer afford to tell him simply what he wants to hear.
“We must convey to the president what he must also hear. The ineffective management of the security challenges by the president has left the vast majority of the Nigerian population, particularly in the North, in a state of total despair.
“The regime must reprioritize its programmes and provide additional resources to alleviate the pervasive insecurity that has brought the nation to its knees. We have a responsibility to convey to the president that the Nigerian people’s tolerance is limited.”
Aliyu stated that the highly coordinated attack on the Kuje Prison in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, and the mass escape of hardened criminals, many of whom are Boko Haram terrorists, have sparked an unprecedented wave of fear and panic among the long-suffering population, especially in the North.
“Around the time Mr. President’s advance convoy was travelling to Daura, and long after the tragic attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train on 28th March, 2022, in which many people were killed and many more kidnapped, the public is asking how and when these unprecedentedly severe crises would end.
“We observed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s response to the Kuje Prison disaster in particular consisted of the usual mixture of platitudes, sermons, condemnations, and more sermons. As usual, the president requested that the security services “examine” the outbreak and determine its cause.
Presumably, the president believed that was all he was required or expected to do under the circumstances.
In his Sallah message, the president committed to address the matter before the end of his term, stating, “As long as the crisis persists, Nigerians will be justified in concluding that the government is useless and must do more if they are ever to be able to end the crises.”
“Because President Buhari is either unable or unwilling to hold his appointees accountable for any deterioration of the security situation and other socioeconomic sectors under their watch, the vast amount of money and other resources being poured into the security agencies have been largely ineffective.
“The requisite increase in people and equipment, long recognised as the missing link in the current war, has not been implemented to the extent necessary to safeguard the nation.
“In other nations, the Kuje jail attack and similar ones that have occurred in regions of Nigeria would have resulted in a significant rearrangement, resignation, and possibly prosecution of irresponsible, incompetent, or merely untrustworthy officials.
“Only the president has the authority and obligation to ensure that the Nigerian government maintains peace, security, order, and good governance. We demand that President Buhari rises to the occasion without further delay,” he emphasised.