The Coalition of Northern Groups has keenly followed and assessed the unfolding of events in the past 12 months as they particularly relate to northern Nigeria.
What we see happening by the minute is a deterioration in all aspects of social, security and political issues that are not being decisively addressed by the government.
The cumulative effect of the unfolding scenario sadly points to a calculated design to continuously weaken the region politically and pauperize it economically.
In specific terms, the CNG has found that the reality on the ground now is one of pervasive fear and uncertainty all over the North; everybody is feeling unsafe, uncertain and traumatic.
1. Death of Democracy
The CNG is saddened to observe that Nigeria, in the entire period of its independent existence has never had such worst successive leaderships as the ones we have in this fourth republic from 1999 to date.
With the inception of the current dispensation in the last five years, Nigeria, in particular the North, has had the worst set of incompetent, ineffective, unfocused and generally unwilling leaders manning all the arms and levels of governance.
2. June 12
We find it ridiculous for the federal government to be pretending to celebrate a certain Democracy Day while in the actually sense, the nation is supposed to be observing days of mourning.
Conclusively therefore, the unnecessary change of date for the celebration of what is obviously not working from October 1 to June 12 with the sole aim of pacifying and pleasing the interest of a certain section and privileged individuals is unrealistic and therefore condemnable.
CNG observes that this government has invariably failed in the discharge of its most fundamental responsibility, which is the protection of life and property.
Looked at from whatever prism, the administration is certainly inept at combating the threat posed by audacious crimes of banditry in the northwest, an emboldened insurgency in the northeast and a smouldering communal violence in the north central.
Virtually the entire North is turning into a battlefront, and held hostage of Boko Haram and marauding bandits with the continuing of killings in Katsina Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna, and Taraba states in addition to the threat of kidnapping all over the North.
This raises the undamental concern that either the government is actually not in control, or that it is incapable of protecting lives of innocent citizens.
The audacity with which bands of armed criminals ride freely to terrorize, massacre, loot and displace Katsina communities without any counter response from government troops, call to question the willingness, readiness, sincerity and capacity to curb the drift towards anarchy in these affected parts.
The role of some top officials of the Katsina state government under Aminu Bello Masari in this regard is similarly suspicious.
It is an unexplained reality that in a single day’s massacre across Borno, Katsina and Sokoto states alone, more people were killed than the coronavirus reportedly had in three months nationwide.
Yet, government at all levels in Nigeria has diverted attention to a covid-19 fight and relegated the issue of insecurity to the background.
This scenario therefore confirms that the northern region has been abandoned by an administration that represents a citadel of poor governance, indifference, and insensitivity, at the mercy of a rampaging insurgency, regular bandit attacks on communities, and daily kidnappings for ransom.
In reaction to these observed failures of government to address the fundamentals of our national existence by preserving citizens’ lives and checkmating the unprecedented plunder and deteriorating standards of living, the CNG hereby resolves to:
- Pass a vote of no confidence on the current leadership that had acquired the reputation of being the worst in the history of our nation in terms of any capacity to generate confidence in achieving credible national goals.
- Challenge the moral credentials of the current administration to call for the celebration of a Democracy Day, the essence of which it had destroyed with an ill-advised shift from the traditional May 29 date to June 12.
- Call on the Northern Elders Forum to sermon an urgent meeting of all stakeholders including credible sections of the civil society, intellectuals, the politicians, the professionals, cultural and religious leaders and elders to:
- Agree on definite conclusions to halt the continuation of decay and destruction of the North and its people.
- Define practical measures to save a nation being critically endangered by leaders who fail to lead with justice and sensitivity.
- Articulate a representation to alert the international community and relevant global bodies and agencies including the United Nations and the International Criminal Court as to where responsibility shall ultimately lie for the ongoing mass massacre of northerners.
- Impress on Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina state the imperative of looking into widespread suspicions of compromise by some top officials of his government to at least show a minimum proof of his seriousness to preserve the lives of the people entrusted in him.
In the face of the prevailing desperate security situation, we call the attention of northerners particularly those in the fronline of these killings to the reality that nowhere in human civilization has human liberty been actually upheld without struggling for it.
In the light of this, we urge all northerners on the futility of docility in a situation such as this that threatens their collective existence.
There is certainly no gain in staking people’s lives in leaders riding on the back of the most gratitious insults to justice and fairness encased in the crude cover of crass political opportunism and ineptitude.
We must all come together and demand an immediate end to these killings and an enduring guarantee for improving our security and the quality of our lives in future.