The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has reacted to the worsening state of insecurity in the country, following the killing of over 43 rice farmers in Borno State.
Following the deaths of the farmers, President Muhammadu Buhari issued a marching order to the military to take the fight to the insurgents.
But speaking on the failure of security operatives in preventing such attack, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the forum’s Director (Publicity and Advocacy), said in civilised countries, leaders who fail so spectacularly to provide security will do the honourable thing and resign.
“Under this administration, life has lost its value, and more and more citizens are coming under the influence of criminals. We do not see any evidence of a willingness on the part of President Buhari to honour his oath to provide security for Nigerians. In civilised nations, leaders who fail so spectacularly to provide security will do the honourable thing and resign,” Baba-Ahmed.
“The Northern Elders Forum joins Nigerians in expressing outrage at the killings of farmers in Borno State and many other people daily in many parts of the North. Our voices have been raised without pause for a long time against pervasive insecurity in our region.
“We have consistently drawn attention to lack of political will to fight the Boko Haram insurgency and other threats such as banditry, rustling, and kidnapping. We had offered suggestions on how the security infrastructure could be improved, and the leadership of the military could be made more effective. Obviously, along with advice and concerns from many other Nigerians, these have made no impression on President Muhammadu Buhari.
“These particular killings have been greeted by the most insensitive response by spokespersons of the President. The lame excuse that farmers had not sought permission from the military to harvest produce merely exposed the misleading claims that our military had secured vast territories from the insurgency.
“These killings and the reality they expose will make relocation of citizens and resumption of economic activities a lot more challenging to achieve even for leadership that attaches priority to them, and this administration does not.
“Elsewhere in many parts of the North, many farming communities have not been allowed by bandits and kidnappers to plant crops. Those who did are being prevented from harvesting by these same criminals. The prospects for famine are real in the face of limited production of food in many of our communities.”
MERIDIAN SPY reported Tuesday, Abubakar Shekau, a factional leader of the Boko Haram sects, had, in a video released, claimed responsibility for the death of the farmers.