Ahead of the 2023 general election, the Arewa Youth Assembly (AYA), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate and decisive action towards stemming the rising tide of insecurity across northern Nigeria. The group warned that politicians will not be allowed to campaign for votes if peace was not restored to the region.
Spokesman of the group, Mohammed Danlami, who gave the charge yesterday in Abuja, disclosed that most local government areas and communities in the northern parts of Nigeria are now under the control of either Ansaru terrorists in North Central and North West or the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in the North East. He urged the President to order the armed forces to flush out these bandits and terrorists occupying several forests and communities across Northern Nigeria before the campaigns commence later in the year.
“The youths will not participate in activities in the build-up to 2023 general elections and the election proper if our brothers and sisters in captivity are not released. “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 assembly strongly believes that if the amount of monies budgeted for security and defence were deployed for such purposes, the terrorists in our bushes would not have been able to withstand our armed forces for three days,” he said.
According to Dalami, the terrorists and other non-state actors have in recent months intensified their violent activities, raiding communities at random, killing defenceless citizens and abducting hundreds of others for ransom. He lamented that in the midst of this worsening state of insecurity, the National Security Adviser, Maj Gen. Babagana Monguno, appears to have become overwhelmed and has been unable to provide a sustainable solution to the crisis facing the country.
According to him, Monguno has ran out of ideas on how to tackle the security challenges and therefore should resign or be sacked by the president without any further delay. “The Arewa Youth Assembly shares in the pain and agony of the immediate families and friends of those in captivity and pray God to intervene through His supernatural power and set them free.
“The AYA notes that the growing audacity of non state actors, which led to the invasion of Kuje Minimum Security Prison, Abuja which led to the release of numerous arrested Boko Haram Commanders shows that even Mr President in the 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 sovereignty would not have been possible if the National Security Adviser, who is supposed to guide Mr President had not run out of ideas.
“Since Monguno’s appointment over seven years, 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.
Where he fails to, Mr. President should urgently sack him and get him replaced,” he said. Meanwhile, some relatives of the victims of the ill fated Abuja- Kaduna bound train attack, yesterday, picketed Bukar Dipcharima House, headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Abuja, demanding definite action towards the rescue of the abductees still in the custody of terrorists.
The protest came a day after the terrorists released a new video in which they were seen torturing the abductees and threatening to either kill them or sell them into slavery if the government failed to meet their demands.
In the video, one of the abducted passengers was also captured narrating how they were kidnapped and lamenting that the government had failed to secure their release. He pleaded with members of the international community, including the United Nations, the United Kingdom, the United States, and France, among others, to help secure their release.
The protesters who occupied the main entrance to the ministry’s building urged the Federal Government to take steps to secure the release of their loved ones who were abducted by the terrorists on March 28, 2022.
Spokesperson for the protesters, Ahmed Aruwa, said they would continue to block the entrance of the Federal Ministry of Transportation until they get a definite response from the government.
The protesters, most of them women, were seen wailing and brandishing placards with various inscriptions directed at persuading the government and security agencies to take immediate action to rescue the captives.
Although some of the train passengers abducted four months ago have been released after ransoms were reportedly paid, dozens of their colleagues were still trapped in the den of the terrorists.
The Federal Government has continued to give various excuses for its inability to rescue the remaining victims.