We’re at terrorists’ mercy, say northern elders

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Northern elders under the umbrella of Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (NEPD), have described the Kankara  abduction as callous and reprehensible, lamenting that the region was at the mercy of terrorists.

The group’s National Coordinator, Zana Goni and National Women Leader, Hajiya Mario Bichi, in a statement, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the service chiefs because of their inability to address the rising cases of insecurity.

While extending their sympathies to families of the victims, they called on government to fish out the killers and use them as experimental guinea pigs.

“At the boiling point we have found ourselves, we believe it will not be out of place to seek assistance in dealing with these threats from outside.

“We would say in the strongest possible terms that there can be no justification for the deliberate targeting of innocent school children.

“Our president was elected by Nigerians and the same Nigerians have spoken through their representatives in the National Assembly.

“He should listen to them by dropping the service chiefs, who have since reached retirement age in the military and appoint new ones with fresh ideas to do the job for which we elected him to do,”Goni said.

Meanwhile, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has alleged that some top security operatives did not want insecurity to end.

In a statement by its Secretary General, Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar-led group, said there were lapses in Nigeria’s security architecture that needed to be urgently addressed.

The apex Islamic body in the North asked President Muhammadu Buhari to listen to calls to revamp the security architecture and address the nation, adding that there were insinuations that for pecuniary benefits, some top echelon among the security operatives did not want the insecurity to end.

“If not, how can one explain the movement of bandits in their hundreds on motorcycles without being detected? What happens to intelligence gathering that this heinous plan was not uncovered before it was hatched? How comes the bandits took their time, gather the schoolboys, heaped them on bikes and whisked them away without being rounded up by the security agencies?

“Mr. President needs to hearken to the call of Nigerians: revamp the security architecture and address the nation. This abduction in commando-style is one tragedy too many coming on the heels of the infamous Zabarmari massacre, not long ago.

“This, indeed, is a sad reminder of the abductions of schoolgirls in Chibok and Dapchi of Borno and Yobe States of North East Nigeria, and it is an indicator that the powers that be don’t read the present through the spectacle of the past; this wouldn’t have happened.

“For the umpteenth time, we will continue to ask: ‘for how long shall the masses continue to live in fear? For how long shall the federal and state governments continue to issue empty condemnations whenever tragedies struck?’

“Is the government and the security agencies so overwhelmed and thus cannot secure the citizens? Are there insurmountable challenges or acts of sabotage that the government is hiding from the public? These and many more questions continue to bedevil every discerning mind within and outside Nigeria.”

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