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Kaduna train attack: Secure victims’ freedom or forget elections in North – Youth group warns politicians

Tells NSA to step down

Arewa Youth Assembly has issued a warning that the 2023 general election will not take place in the North unless the final 43 train passengers kidnapped by terrorists on March 28 are freed.

The group cautioned the authority against treating its warning lightly, noting that it shared the suffering and anguish endured by the relatives of those killed in the train incident.

The AYA, which is made up of youths from Abuja and the 19 northern states, also demanded the immediate dismissal of Major-General Babagana Munguno (ret.), the national security adviser, claiming that he had run out of options.

In a statement released in Kaduna on Monday, the Assembly, represented by its Speaker, Mohammed Danlami, called for an investigation into all military spending related to the fight against terrorism and banditry throughout the nation.

The statement claims that if “our brothers and sisters in captivity are not released” the youth of the area will ensure that no one takes part in any political activities or the upcoming elections.

Additionally, the group emphasized that the relevant authorities must make sure that all of the terrorist groups’ captured lands are liberated before to the upcoming general election.

The statement read, “As the victims of the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna bound train marked 120 days in captivity, which was celebrated by the terrorists through a released video depicting how they are being molested, the Arewa Youth Assembly (AYA) shares in the pain and agony of the immediate families and friends of those in captivity. We pray God to intervene through His supernatural power and set them free.

“The Assembly make bold to state that our youths won’t participate in activities in the build-up to 2023 General Election and the election proper if our brothers and sisters in captivity are not released.

“Also, most of our Local Government Areas and communities that are now under the control of either Ansaru Terrorists in North-Central and North-West or ISWAP in North-East. In other words, politicians are only welcome to our region, when we have every reason to believe that our forests are free from bandits and terrorists.”

The organization demanded the National Security Adviser step down or be fired and replaced by the President, claiming that non-state actors’ actions have made President Muhammadu Buhari less secure.

“The AYA notes that the growing audacity of non-state actors, which led to the invasion of Kuje Maximum Prison, Abuja, and the subsequent release of numerous arrested Boko Haram commanders, shows that even Mr President in the Aso Rock Presidential Villa is not safe.

“It is just a matter of time, these ragtag elements will draw inspiration from the Afghanistan Terrorists and take over leadership of our country

“We have observed that this insult to our country’s supremacy wouldn’t have been possible if the National Security Adviser, who was supposed to guide Mr President, had not run out of ideas.

“Since his appointment over 7 years ago, we strongly believe that the man has run out of steam and does not have anything new to offer, hence, the honourable thing for him to do is to pack his luggage and return to his retirement destination and where he fails to do so, Mr President should urgently sack him and get him replaced,” the group added.

The Assembly further denounced the suspected corruption, claiming that the poorly equipped terrorists could only hold off the highly trained Nigerian Armed Forces for “three days” if the defense budgets were properly used.

“However, Nigerians believe that the Armed Forces remains the most corrupt institution in our country, that needs to be properly checked by various anti-graft agencies,” the group added.

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