From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to be ruthless with terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements in the New Year.
The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje, in a statement titled: ‘New Year Message to President Muhammadu Buhari: Stem the tide of insecurity, salvage democracy’, frowned at the failure of the Buhari government to rein in criminal elements contrary to his promise in the 2021 New Year speech.
Owoaje while listing the numerous security threats across the country with attendant killings said Nigerians are tired of President Buhari’s directives to security agents on the spate of insecurity because they lack consequential effect.
The statement read in part: “Your administration has pampered terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and violent non-state actors for too long. You have condoned their impunity to the detriment of the general interest of Nigerians,” he noted.
Owoaje, however, said it is not too late to stem the tide of killings if the President would get his acts together to make criminal elements feel the full wrath of the government.
“The Federal Government under you must demonstrate a single-minded commitment to securing our country and visit these criminal elements, and their sponsors and collaborators, with the full wrath of the state. In the year 2022 there should be no hiding place for terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements. Nigerians are no longer interested in reading statements and listening to comments by your aides quoting you giving marching orders to security agencies to fish out criminal elements. Nigerians expect you as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to order the immediate flushing of criminal elements from wherever they could be. We have had enough words and now wish to see tangible action.
“Furthermore, like previously stated, you need to initiate the process to decentralise the security apparatus of Nigeria. The over-centralisation of security, especially the Nigeria Police Force, has done more harm than good. There is no better time to decentralise the policing of Nigeria than now.”
On the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, he expressed regret over the chances missed by the President not signing the Bill into law, stressing that he should demonstrate sincerity towards a transparent election by rallying members of the National Assembly to resolve all knotty issues.
“Mr President, you need to walk-the-talk of commitment to a peaceful democratic process. There is no better way to express this than by ensuring you rally the leadership of the National Assembly to resolve all grey areas including issues raised by civil society groups for the Bill to be passed and resent to you for assent to be in full operation for the 2023 general elections. You were a beneficiary of the improvement in the electoral process and the expectation is that you would make the electoral process better than you met it. The choice is yours to make on what you would be remembered for. May you have the will to do what is right for Nigeria,” NAS said.