Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Coalition of North Central Elders have expressed displeasure over the worsening security situation in the country, complaining that the assurances and rhetoric of President Mohammadu Buhari to tackle the problem was no longer appealing.
The National Chairman of the group, Usman Bida, and its National Secretary, Barr Moses Okudu, in a statement on Monday, appealed to the President to immediately restructure the country’s security architecture by sacking federal service chiefs.
They said the alert on the presence Boko Haram elements in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), was as a result of ‘intelligence failure’ on the part of security agencies.
According to them: “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.
“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 quite commendable, we are taken aback [by] the recent intelligence reports released by Nigerian Customs Service of the presence of Boko Haram elements in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and some local government areas in Nasarawa and Niger states. This is a complete failure of intelligence.
‘As it stand today, the 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 are raped and children killed by this terrorist 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, 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.’