Leaders and Elders of Nigeria, under the aegis of Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Afenifere, Ohaeneze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and Middle Belt Forum, have said that President Muhammadu Buhari has again told Nigerians that he does not have the wherewithal to protect the country and its citizens.
They have, however, reiterated their collective position that the country needed a new leadership from next year.
The leaders and elders, expressed shock and disappointment that President Buhari has again gone to the global stage to restate his position that terrorism and insurgency in the Sahel region and Lake Chad Basin were fuelled by local runaway fighters from Iraq and Syria and arms from the disintegration of Libya.
According them, the President’s position was obviously what they described as a disingenuous way of explaining the failure of leadership of Nigeria under him to fulfill the elementary obligation of any constituted authority -protecting the lives of its citizens.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by former Federal Commissioner for Information and South South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark; Leader of Northern Elders Forum (NEF) , Professor Ango Abdullahi; Leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; President- General of Ohanaeze, Chief John Nnia Nwodo and President, Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus.
The statement said, “The Nigerian Leaders and Elders Forum is totally embarrassed that President Muhammadu Buhari has gone to the global stage once again to restate his position that terrorism and insurgency in the Sahel region and Lake Chad Basin are fuelled by local runaway fighters from Iraq and Syria and arms from the disintegration of Libya.
The President spoke in New York where he unfolded Nigeria’s positions on international matters before the global audience during the opening of the General Debate of the 73rd Session of the United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA73).
“The position of the President is obviously a disingenuous way of explaining the failure of leadership of Nigeria under him to fulfill the elementary obligation of any constituted authority -protecting the lives of its citizens .
“In the last three and a half years,thousands of lives have been lost to bandits and terrorists with our government failing to apprehend any suspect except giving one excuse or the other for its inability to secure our country .
“The palpable failure of the administration has led many citizens including Lt Gen TY Danjuma to conclude that there could be some complicity between the terrorists and some members of our security forces .
“This is why it is so scandalous that the President would still be offering this jaded line a few months to the end of his tenure .
“Does he expect Nigerians to hold an appreciation rally that he is telling them that he knows where those killing them are from and he cannot do anything about it?
“It is more appalling that one of the major planks of campaign by the President in 2015 was to secure Nigeria.Is this how to secure a country?
“If a group of foreign gangsters decide to take over the government of Nigeria today, is it this kind of lamentations we would see?
“It is pretty clear Nigerians cannot have security under a President that admits this kind of abysmal failure and incapacity at a global stage.
“It is a confirmation of our position that Nigeria needs a new leadership from next year that understands what the duties of a responsible and responsive government is.
“We cannot continue to die daily as a people unprotected under this type of leadership for another four years after the first unfortunate four of this administration.”