By Amina Yahaya
The Northern Coalition For Peace and Development on Tuesday rose from its meeting with stakeholders on the security challenges affecting the region and the country, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to try the approach adopted by the Zamfara state government to address the issues.
The group, whose communique was read to reporters at Bafra Hotel, Kaduna, by its National Secretary, Attahiru Adamu, advised President Buhari to organise a security summit with the Northern government and other critical stakeholders in order to get first-hand information to work with in order to solve Nigeria’s current security crisis.
It added that calls by some individuals and groups for the sacking of federal Service Chiefs were unnecessary if such people could not suggest a better alternative for the country.
According to Adamu, “The majority of those calling for the sack of Service Chiefs are not sincere, as they failed to offer reasonable alternative before now to Mr President on how to tackle issues of security and way forward on other challenges facing our country. They are only seeking the dismissal of the security chiefs in order to see the appointment of those they can push around to do their bidding at the expense of collective interest.
“Politicising the issue of national security by some group of do-no good among our political elites is much dangerous and pose a serious threat and concern to challenges facing our dear country today”, he said.
He continued that “there is an urgent need for all Nigerians to unite and support the efforts of both the Federal and State governments towards fighting crimes such as insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery among others within the corridor of their homes so as to bring lasting peace and cohesion among us.
“Typical examples are the initiatives done and the change of narratives by the personnel and official efforts of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, which has made the state safer than it was during the past administration. Within a few months in office, he brought all his colleagues together in Sokoto, Katsina to accept the road map of entering accord with bandits in exchange of peace to their states.
“Suffice to state that, with commitment, support and goodwill, this issue of banditry, kidnapping and other crimes in our region can be reduced and eradicated completely,” he added.
The group called on the President to arrest and prosecute those allegedly hiding under the umbrella of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) caught sponsoring thuggery, incitement and mischief no matter how close or powerful such individuals might be to the Presidency.
“These include those undermining the security of their states by hiring thugs or intimidating others with nefarious activities of rallies, political gathering, use of religious groups through uncultured language to foment trouble in order to achieve political sympathy.
“It is with dismay and concern over reports of certain group of politicians in the North who are becoming so desperate on their motives of creating tension, political intolerance, crisis and use of thuggery in their states in order to score some cheap political goals with some governors after failing election or losing grip of power in their states. Such is happening in some states controlled by other party leading at the centre like Sokoto, Zamfara and Bauchi states.
“We unequivocally condemn some reported unguided statements and sponsored cheap propaganda, mischief and incite social media audio with voice of a former governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’azeez Yari Abubakar that is now circulated to have made against our revered learned Justices of the Supreme court.
“We commend and pass a vote of confidence on our Service Chiefs, including the Inspector General of Police, National Security Adviser, Director General, Department of State Security toward their renewal efforts and assurance of combating the menace of insecurity in our region and nation in general.
“We commend the efforts of governor of Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina states, particularly over their role in achieving effective resolutions by way of reconciliation and peace accord with bandits so as to remedy the issue of security challenges confronting their states. Such actions have meritoriously brought relative peace among people in different parts of their states. We call on Presidency to create an environment of synergy with these governors and put it on trial to see the possibility of solving the problems.
“We advise Mr President to organize a special summit where he will meet with the Northern States governors, retired security officers, political, traditional, community and religious leaders in some of the security prone areas, get direct on-the-point voices of reasons among them for decisive action against insecurity in the worse hit areas and the country as a whole,” the northern group advised.