Okwe Obi, Abuja and Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
Coalition of North Central Elders has expressed displeasure over the country’s worsening security, noting that the assurances and rhetoric of President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the problem was no longer appealing.
National Chairman of the group, Usman Bida and National Secretary, Moses Okudu, in a statement, yesterday, appealed to the president to immediately restructure the security architecture by sacking the service chiefs.
They said the alert on the presence of Boko Haram elements in the Federal Capital Territory by the Nigerian Customs Service was as a result of “intelligence failure” and should not be treated with cuddling gloves.
“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 it 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.
“When we were about to recover from the arrest of over 400 terrorists with dangerous weapons in Toto Local Government of Nasarawa by the military, which was commendable, we are taken aback with the recent intelligence reports released by Customs of the presence of Boko Haram elements in Abuja and some local government areas in Nasarawa and Niger states. This is a complete failure of intelligence.
“As it stand today, well-meaning citizens of North Central and Nigeria are frightened by this information. 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. In Niger State, people are killed on a daily basis, women raped and children killed by this terrorists group.
“We voted for President Muhammed Buhari because of his vast experience in security and integrity and we expect the best from him.
“Mr president sir, four officers cannot be more experienced than thousands of 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 .”
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) has assured of better days in the fight against Boko Haram and other insurgent groups in the North East region.
According to the Chief of Air staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, with the establishment of the 203 combat reconiassance group in Gombe, which is at the centre of North East, the battle had received a major boost from air troops.
He spoke at the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of facilities for the combat reconnaissance group in Lawanti community in Akko Local Area (LGA) of Gombe State.
The newly established group which is attached to the Special Operations Command (SOC), Bauchi would enable the NAF to respond to contingencies in the North East.