As Nigerians welcome the New Year, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to change his service chiefs to restore confidence among the rank and file of the nation’s security agencies and avoid a holocaust.
Also, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, said the president must change his strategy if he was serious about safeguarding the lives of Nigerians.
Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, also urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to continue to shield individuals or groups fomenting trouble in the country.
On its part, Middle Belt Forum, urged Buhari to employ competent hands in 2021 to help him run the country.
Meanwhile, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar berated the Buhari-led administration over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and security across the country.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin, who spoke with Vanguard, also urged the President to change his style of governance in the New Year.
He said: “Buhari should totally change his ways in 2021. He must see Nigeria as his constituency and not a section of it. He cannot secure Nigeria as long as he keeps sacred cows in Miyetti Allah and other troublers of Nigeria. He needs a broader mind to successfully run Nigeria and hand over one country when he is done.”
On whether or not the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, was sincere in supporting restructuring, he said: “Until we see, it is not only their idea of restructuring. Our fingers are crossed.”
Change service chiefs to restore confidence — Ohanaeze
According to Ohanaeze, Nigeria is at crossroads in its security situation, saying that the nation was now lying comatose, naked and helpless before all manner of big killers
The Igbo apex group, in a statement by Emeka Attamah, Special Adviser to the President General, Chief Nnua Nwodo said:”It is an understatement to say that Nigeria is at crossroads in its security situation.
“The nation is now lying comatose, naked and helpless before marauding and ravaging killers of different descriptions. 2020 will go down in the annals of the country as one of its darkest years.
“To avert the incessant holocaust, Mr President must explain to Nigerians why he has remained indifferent to the general cry for the change of service chiefs.
“The service chiefs must be changed immediately to restore confidence among the rank and file of the security agencies. The rejig should redress the overt and indefensible exclusion of some parts of the country from the hierarchy.
“Transparency should be brought into the handling of security matters unlike the cloak of secrecy that shrouded it all these years so that money meant for our gallant soldiers fighting at the fronts will actually get to them to bouy up their spirit.
“The Nigerian Police Force should be decentralized to allow regions handle their security problems.
“Also, the Federal Government should recognise, train and equip regional security outfits like Amotekun, the Civilian JTF, etc to assist on security matters.
“Nigerians should generally stop playing politics with issues of security and collectively get involved in the fight against our aggressors.”
He should change his security strategy — PANDEF
PANDEF’s Deputy National Chairman, Chief Thompson Okorotie, who spoke to Vanguard in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, yesterday, said, “I hold the view that the heads of the various security arms are overdue for change. Why is the President still keeping I don’t know. There should be total change of strategy in that direction.
“People are dying needlessly over insecurity, I just lost one of my cousins to the insurgents. The strategies of the insurgents are known to Nigerian soldiers and they are not developing and not proactive to save the lives of Nigerians.
“I don’t think it is the best thing for this country in the area of security. There has to be a rethink in the strategy that we adopt in fighting the battle. It is increasing in intensity and success on their side on a daily basis. “
Get competent hands to help you run the country, MBF advises Buhari
National President of Middle Belt Forum, Dr Pogu Bitrus urged Buhari to emulate former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo, who engaged the right people to ensure that the economy blossomed under their watch.
Bitrus in Markudi, Benue State, said, “Let me start with security, all the advises to Mr President fell on deaf ears in 2020. He was advised several times to change his security chiefs and overhaul the security architecture but they all feel on deaf ears.
“I believe the President will do himself and the country well if he makes a 360 degree turn and embrace what he said in 2015 when he took over office.
“At that time at the oath of office taking ceremony, he said ‘I belong to nobody and I belong to everybody’. He should embrace that and let that be his watch word for Nigeria to move forward.
“The nepotistic agenda which everyone sees glaringly which he and his close associates seem not to see, I think he would start seeing them glaringly and do something about it.
“Then, on the issue of fighting insurgents, I think that has been cosmetic, because all along, you will hear that the military are stationed at different locations as if they are watching over villages rather than fighting Boko Haram.
“The usual attacks and encounters they had with the insurgents is when they go out on patrol, not when they go out to wage war against them, that attitude has to change. They must take the fight to the insurgents and not react when there is an attack. The whole approach has to change for Nigeria to move forward.
“Of course as regards the economy, the Nigerian economy is in shambles. We are in another recession as we were told. I think Mr President needs to quickly employ the services of competent hands.
“Whatever people might have said about former Presidents Jonathan and Obasanjo, the fact is that they had the right people around them to do the job. That was why our economy blossomed under them.
“I think that the President should employ the right and correct hands to help him to pull him and the country out of the economic woos we are in now because so far, what this government has done is not adequate, that is why we are where we are,” he added.
Atiku berates FG’s handling of COVID-19, security
Similarly, the former Vice President, in a New Year message, urged Nigerians to remain hopeful of a better tomorrow despite the pain brought about by the novel COVID-19 in the outgone year.
Atiku said: “The out-gone year was quite dramatic and it is only by the grace of the Almighty God that we survived to witness the succeeding year.
“It is cheering that we are entering the New Year with refreshing news of a handful of certified vaccines against the dreaded Covid-19 virus. And better still is news of commencement of vaccination in some parts of the world.
“I am expectant that the vaccine (s) would soon be available for vaccination in Nigeria. It is also hoped that very soon life would return to normal.
“As a country, we have taken our share of the blow that Covid-19 dealt with the world. And worst still, we suffered a multi-facet downcast on account of lazy and uninspiring leadership from the government at the center-most especially.
“But just as I often do, I pray that God should heal the hearts of families who have lost loved ones to the disease, as well as those who died on account of insecurity and ringing poverty occasioned by poor management of our national economy.
“The damage that the pandemic had done to our lives remains and it would take some time for us to overcome. However, bad as the virus was, the fundamental lesson that the scourge reinforces is our bond as one species of homo-sapiens, in which an attack on one is an attack on all.
“Moving forward, we would require the same kind of cooperation that it takes to develop an antidote to Covid-19, to come up with solutions to many of the other ills that confront our world. Perhaps, that is the lesson to be taken from the pandemic, and it should be our pathway into the New Year.
“Just like it was with the deadly virus, we are exposed to a common threat of terrorism, kidnapping and sundry criminalities; the threat of economic meltdown, unemployment and poverty; and, even our solution to the problem of climate change must be within the focus of conserving the planet we call home. We cannot wholly defeat any of these threats if we refuse to cooperate and work together irrespective of our intangible differences.
“As Nigerians, we are all aware of the challenges that bedevil the country. We need not begin to enumerate them. But what we must not let happen is allowing our weakness to wall our strength. Our diversity offers a rare opportunity for plural perspectives to finding a solution to our problems. If we fail to take that advantage, we would be weaker while the problems keep growing bigger and the blame will be on us.”
Vanguard News Nigeria