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Insecurity: ‘We can no longer afford to tell you what you want to hear’, ACF blasts Buhari

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has decried Nigeria’s ‘rapid descent’ into strife, violence and lawlessness, noting that although it has been a supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, it can no longer afford to tell him what he wants to hear.

The ACF in a statement by its secretary-general, Murtala Aliyu, asked the president to reprioritise his programmes and free more resources to end the pervasive insecurity in the country.

The group said over the past few months, the security crisis in Nigeria has been deepening and there is a dangerous escalation of violence and bloodshed.

“Criminal gangs, bandits, armed robbers, secessionist insurgents along with those that call themselves soldiers of so-called caliphate, have laid siege to Nigeria. More so in the northern states,” the statement said.

“Although we count ourselves amongst his ardent supporters and have always wished him well, Nigeria’s rapid descent into strife, violence and lawlessness is getting to a point at which we can no longer afford to tell him only what he wants to hear.

“We do need to tell the president what he also needs to hear. We simply are unable to find any courteous or less painful words to describe the feeling of utter frustration among the broad masses of Nigeria, especially in the North, arising from the ineffectual management of the security crises by the president.

“The regime needs to reprioritise its programmes and free more resources needed to end the pervasive insecurity that is bringing the country to its knees. We have a duty to tell the president what he needs to hear, which is that the patience of Nigerians is not limitless.”

Aliyu said the highly coordinated attack on the Kuje Prison in the Federal Capital (FCT), Abuja, and the mass escape of hardened criminals, many of whom are Boko Haram terrorists, have triggered an unprecedented wave of apprehension and panic among the long-suffering people, particularly of the North.

“Coming around the time the advance convoy of Mr. President heading to Daura and long after the deadly attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train on 28th March, 2022, in which many people were killed and a lot more kidnapped, the question on the lips of the public, is how and when will these crises, which are unprecedented in severity, leave us?

“We noted that the response of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Kuje Prison tragedy in particular was to offer the familiar cocktail of platitudes, of sermons, condemnations and yet more sermons. As usual, the president asked the security services to ‘investigate’ the outbreak and find out what led to it.

“Presumably, in the view of the president, that was all that he was expected or required to do in the circumstances.”

He added that the president in his Sallah message promised to deal with the situation before the end of his tenure saying, “As long as the crisis remains unabating, Nigerians will justifiably conclude that the government is ineffective and needs to do more if they will ever be able to quell the crises.”

“Probably because President Buhari is unable or unwilling to hold his appointees responsible for any deterioration of the security situation and some other socioeconomic sectors under their watch, the vast amount of money and other resources being pumped into the security agencies have largely been ineffective.

“The required boost in manpower and equipment, long recognized as the missing link in the current campaign, have remained largely unimplemented to the required level needed to secure the nation.

“In other countries, the Kuje jail attack and similar ones that have happened in parts of Nigeria would have led to massive reshuffle, resignation and possibly prosecution of officials who were negligent, incompetent or plainly untrustworthy.

“No person other than the president has both the mandate and responsibility to ensure that the government of Nigeria maintains peace, security, order and good governance. We demand that President Buhari braces up without further delay and rise to today’s occasion,” he stressed.

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