Elders, leaders of socio-political organisations and key stakeholders from the northern part of Nigeria, have scored President Muhammadu Buhari low and rejected him as the candidate to run for the 2019 general elections.
The leaders who met on Saturday in Kaduna, insisted that Buhari must be replaced by competent persons.
In a communique read by a member of the Northern Elders Forum and Chief of Staff to Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the northern leaders stated that the current administration had not demonstrated enough strong will to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency and herdsmen/farmers’ clashes.
“We demand immediate and decisive steps to improve the security of lives and economic assets in the North by the federal and state governments. Too many communities are at the mercy of attacks from sundry groups of criminals who appear to have unchallenged access to space and weapons.
“The Summit noted that despite notable successes by the administration against the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, many Northern communities still live under its threat. In many other parts of the North, communities are routinely exposed to attacks from shadowy killers, and suspicion and anger at known and suspected killers are pitching Northerners against each other. Armed bandits terrorize rural communities almost at will, while kidnappings and abductions have assumed alarming notoriety as crimes.
“Since 2015, Northerners have occupied positions with the potential to make decisive differences in the economy, security or political fortunes of the region. The hopes that leaders who have exercised power since 2015 will reverse the abuse and neglect of the region in the previous decade have been betrayed. Weak governance, gross insensitivity and unacceptable levels of incompetence have been compounded by battles of attrition in which northerners have sapped each other’s’ strength. Weak and incoherent responses to provocations from other parts of the country around the imperatives of re-visiting the foundations and structures of the Nigerian state have created the false image of a North without its own positions beyond survival as the parasite of Nigeria.”
“The Summit, having undertaken a thorough analysis of the state of the North and our communities, therefore urges all leaders, elders and communities to seek peaceful resolutions of conflicts between and among communities. Lives lost, injuries suffered, and losses incurred in any community must be redressed firmly and fairly. The roots of co-existence and inter-dependence in all Northern communities are much deeper than the barricades being erected around communities. All persons who are involved in killings and crimes against communities must be brought to book.
“The summit warns that no Northern politician should expect to be voted for in the next general election unless they demonstrate a willingness to champion a massive assault on poverty and underdevelopment in the North. In this regard, most political office holders from the North are hereby served notice that they have failed the test to lead the region towards economic recovery and growth.