President Muhammadu Buhari has again been asked to fire the country’s service chiefs over the security challenges in the country.
A Coalition of North-Central Elders (CNCE) who made the call via a statement on Monday said they voted Buhari into power because of his experience as military head of state, therefore, expect the best from him.
Rising attacks by various groups including Boko Haram insurgents and bandits have led to the loss of lives across the country.
As a result, many Nigerians, including federal lawmakers, have mounted pressure on the president to take a firm step to address the situation by sacking service chiefs.
The coalition said in the statement that there is no part of the north-central that is not experiencing terrorist attacks, adding that “Nigerians are tired” of rhetoric regarding the security situation.
“We join other well-meaning Nigerians to call on Mr. President to immediately restructure the current security architecture in the country with the sacking of the service chiefs as the first steps,” the statement, signed by Usman Bida, CNCE chairman, read.
“Nigerians are tired of rhetorics and promises of the security situation getting better.
“We are saddened that there is no state in the North Central that is free from terrorists’ attacks or that has not had its own fair share of the mindless killing of innocent citizens one time or the other, a region that was the most peaceful in the entire North.”
The coalition said it was still reeling from the shock of an arrest “over 400 terrorists with dangerous weapons” in Nasarawa state only for the Nigeria Customs Service to alert the country of the presence of Boko Haram insurgents in parts of the north-central.
“As it stands today, the well-meaning citizens of North Central and Nigeria are frightened by this information,” it said.
“Some parts of Nasarawa, Niger and Kogi States are no-go areas because of the activities of these terrorists that kill, kidnap, and rob people at will as if we are in a Banana republic.
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“We voted for President Buhari because of his vast experience in security and integrity and we expect the best from him.
“Mr. President, we are with you and will always be, but we feel your continued retention of the service chiefs for the last five years running is totally against the wishes of Nigerian people given that it is causing a lot low morale and bad work zeal in the entire Armed Forces. We appeal that you act now.
“Mr. President, sir, four officers cannot be more experienced than thousands of the officers we have in the armed forces. It is on this note that we appeal to you to, as a matter of urgency and national importance, sack them from office.”
Newsmen had reported how Sa’ad Abubakar III, Sultan of Sokoto, described the ongoing killings in Southern Kaduna as “madness that must stop immediately”.
Kaduna has seen sustained violence in recent weeks that has led to tremendous loss of lives and properties.
Speaking on Monday while meeting with Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council in Kaduna, the monarch declared that“enough is enough” while calling on those in any way involved in the killings to stop the dastardly act.
His words: “no man in his right senses go on a killing spree of innocent people under whatever guise.”
The traditional ruler also accused politicians of fueling the crisis, appealing to Nigerians not to be used as tools of violence.
“If you keep on igniting killings based on ethno-religious differences because it is the innocent children that are killed while that of the elites are protected” he said.
Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, said southern Kaduna crisis has lingered since the first Kasuwan Magani riot in Kajuru local government area in 1980.
He said his administration has been making efforts to end the killings and restore peace.
The governor added that a military base and mobile police depot were established in the area while the air force and strike force personnel had been deployed in the zone.
He said equipment like drones and GSM trackers are being used to neutralise bandits in the state.
“Kaduna is a mini-Nigeria with over 52 ethnic groups, meaning that 10 percent of Nigeria’s ethnic groups are from Kaduna state,” he said.
“The danger of it is that, crimes committed by criminals for their own selfish motives are given ethno-religious interpretations.”