A socio-political group, Northern Youth Network (NYN) has condemned in strong terms, a statement credited to the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) published in newspaper on Tuesday asking President Muhammadu Buhari to resign immediately over alleged failure in providing security for Nigerians.
The NYN in a statement signed by its convener Mallam Abdulrahman Ahmed described the press release as mischievous, unpatriotic and aimed at weakening the morale of gallant soldiers in the battle field.
The Northern Youth Network averred that the call by the spokesperson of the Northern Elders Forum, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed was ill motivated and coming at a time the Nigerian Armed Forces were poised to finally crush BokoHaram/ ISWAP Terrorists, Banditry and other forms of security threats in the nation.
“We are surprised that the Northern Elders Forum has not seen the vigour and determination the Nigerian Army has put into the war against insurgency and banditry in the past weeks and the successes recorded. This renewed onslaught has led to the killing of many notable notorious bandits and destruction of their enclaves and armoury. Curiously, despite the killing, capture and surrender of Boko Haram fighters, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed has never come out to commend the gallantry of the Armed forces.
“Before now, part of the reason was that the terrorists operated with superior weapons to those used by our security agencies. Today, President Buhari has purchased weapons for modern warfare and our military is well equipped and has moved from a reactionary approach to war against insurgency to taking the war to the enclaves of the terrorists and bandits with devastating consequences. This has led to the eliminations of many notorious bandits and their commanders with thousands of their fighters surrendering to the military.
“We wish to also remind the Northern Elders Forum that, one major breakthrough is the declaration of bandits as terrorists by President Buhari administration. With this instrument of the law, Nigerian military has moved to the northeast with sophisticated weapons to protect the nation and eliminate the bandits. This has been gazetted making it illegal for terrorists and bandits to operate in the country and for anyone to aid and abet same”, the statement noted.
The group further explained that the Air Force bombardment has given impetus to the war against insurgents and urged Nigerians to rally round the security agencies to defeat terrorists and other criminals.
“The Air Force supported by ground troops through impeccable intelligence gathering has dealt a deadly blow on the terrorists and bandits, destroying their camps, armoury and eliminating several of them including their top commanders and their families.
“The bombardment of the compound of a notorious Bandit Leader, Alhaji Zaki in Bayan-Magari Forest Birnin Magaji in Zamfara State, an attack which led to the elimination of all members of his family.
“The communities must support the military with information to the where about of these criminals as they do not operate in a vacuum. It is our settled opinion that Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed and his Northen Elders Forum are playing 2023 politics with the security situation in the country, they megaphone cowardly attacks by fleeing terrorists and refuse to commend when Nigerian soldiers inflict devastating blows on the criminals.
“Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed and his group are well known PDP sympathizers working for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar a presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2023 general elections. As a matter of fact, Dr. Hakeem’s brother, Dr. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed is a Guber contestant in Kaduna state on the platform of the PDP. These are well known political entrepreneurs who have been unable to make profit from the Buhari government.
“In 2019, the Northern Elders Forum asked President Buhari not to contest for re-election; they urged Nigerians not to vote of Buhari. It is obvious they have not recovered from the humiliating defeat they suffered in that election.
“Such unpatriotic and partisan call should not emanate from a group that calls itself, elders. If the call of the Northern Elders Forum is to get invitation to government they have failed. The PMB administration should remain focus and avoid detractors like the NEF.
“We commend the gallantry of the armed forces particularly. We urge the military to remain focused and determined and committed to fighting criminality in the country”, the statement added.