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Again, Ohanaeze, Afenifere blast Buhari over insecurity

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam (Lagos), Lawrence Njoku (Enugu), Nnamdi Akpa (Abakaliki), Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan) and Ernest Nzor (Abuja)
09 August 2022   |   5:21 am
Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, has criticised President Muhammed Buhari for being unduly selective in his comment on insecurity as it concerns the South East geopolitical zone.

Buhari. Photo/facebook/Asorock

• As OYC says more than 2,355 Igbo killed in North
• How security challenge threatens building industry, by architects
• HURIWA asks FG to deploy foreign mercenaries

Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, has criticised President Muhammed Buhari for being unduly selective in his comment on insecurity as it concerns the South East geopolitical zone.

Ohanaeze was reacting to a recent statement by Buhari on alleged killing of Nigeriens by unknown persons in Imo State wherein leaders of the zone were blamed.

In a statement signed by National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, the group accused the President of singling out what happens in the South East while turning a blind eye to horrors in other parts of the country, including his native Katsina State.

While condemning the attack, Ohanaeze, nevertheless, frowned at the statement by the Presidency “which is nuanced against the South East as a haven for terrorists that attack non-indigenes and law enforcement officials; implying that the insecurity persists because the leaders have not forcefully spoken.

“This is very unfair to the Igbo, especially when the Presidency knows the root cause and nature of the insecurity in the South East. It needs to be added that the solution to the insecurity in the South East lies in the enormous powers of the Presidency.

“The remarks by the Presidency appear to have ignored the prolonged open war with Boko Haram in the North East; banditry in the North West, especially in Katsina State; Fulani herdsmen invasion of several communities in the Middle Belt region; the Church massacre at Owo; daily kidnappings on highways; the Kaduna-Abuja train abduction, etc.”

Similarly, Secretary General of Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), issued a statement in Abakaliki, yesterday, saying: “It’s on record that since the inception of President Buhari’s administration in 2015, Igbo have felt the worst hits of Boko Haram and bandits in the North. Over 2,355 Igbo have sacrificed their lives under the current government, without any form of compensation for the bereaved families.”

ALSO, pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, yesterday, expressed dismay over the level of insecurity in the country, wondering if the President is aware.

In a statement by National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jare Ajayi, Afenifere said the situation appears to suggest there is no authority that can chain the monster.

It said, according to the Constitution, Buhari, as Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Armed Forces, is responsible for the security of Nigerians.

“Unfortunately, we have not seen veritable indications that the C-in-C is aware of the enormity of the situation or is putting up any strategy to arrest it.”

Recalling Buhari’s Democracy Day confession: “I am living daily with the grief and worry for all those victims and prisoners of terrorism and kidnapping,” Afenifere said the job of Nigeria’s President is not grieving but ensuring terrorism, kidnapping and allied crimes do not occur at all.

It said: “What Nigerians expect from the government is not sympathy but action; action that will put total end to the nightmare.

“Equally important, President Buhari needs to come out and let perpetrators of terrorism and kidnapping know he has had enough. He should let them realise that the pact he signed with Nigerians was not to come and see to the serial termination of their lives but ensure their security, improve their welfare and move the nation to a desirable next level.”

IN a related development, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) called on the Federal Government to urgently redesign the security architecture of the country to combat the challenge.

It described the building industry as the highest employer of labour, saying the impact of insecurity on the sector is far reaching, negatively impacting key initiatives of government.

NIA noted that insecurity would ensure housing targets for Nigerians are not met; schools and hospitals are not built, while provision of roads and other transportation infrastructure are stopped.

In a statement jointly signed by NIA President, Enyi Ben-Eboh and General Secretary, Chike Chamberlain Ibeanu, the group said: “Professionals in the building industry are finding it increasingly difficult to freely go about their activities in a safe environment. Furthermore, government’s effort at diversifying the economy and ensuring self-sufficiency on critical building materials is under serious threat.

“This year alone, many project sites under various government and private housing initiatives, as well as related infrastructure projects have either had to be relocated, closed or completely shelved, on account of activities of non-state actors in various parts of the country.

“Worse hit are project sites in the North East, North Central and North West. Some of the projects include constituency projects and those funded by states and the Federal Government, as well as the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).”

REACTING, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) asked the Federal Government to engage mercenaries to complement the military’s fight against terrorists.

National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja. HURIWA said: “The President must immediately reshuffle the security architecture and sack the service chiefs whose lack of effective leadership have cost over 750 families (of military personnel) their beloved brothers, sisters and breadwinners.

“The engagement of foreign mercenaries cannot be overstressed. As buttressed by Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, the Armed Forces are overstretched, as they are now engaged in internal operations, which should have been led by the Nigeria Police Force. The deployment of foreign mercenaries is exigent to avoid further loss of military personnel.”