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Elders urge Buhari to redress lopsided appointments, consider South East

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Want youths engaged in peace advocacy

Some eminent citizens from across the country, under the aegis of Forum of Nigeria Elders (FNE), have raised the alarm over growing insecurity in the country, warning that if urgent and drastic measures are not taken against the menace, it could spell doom for the country.

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The forum also warned against non-adherence to the country’s federal character principles in appointments into key positions, saying that the drafters of the constitution did not make mistakes in inserting the provision.

In a statement issued, yesterday, in Abuja, the elders expressed worry over alleged neglect of the southeast geo-political zone in appointments, especially in the country’s security sector. They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to review his policy with a view to correcting the anomaly.

The statement was signed by Dr. Balarabe Usman Wudil (North West), Engr Zana Goni (North East), Prof. Ambrose Terngu (North Central), Prof. Finebone Tamuno (South-South), Dr. Ayo Bankole (South West), and Prof. Chika Madumere (South East).

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The elders also admonished the Federal Government to immediately convene a national dialogue with a view to discussing the fault lines that led the country to its present predicaments.

Besides, the group tasked authorities to begin engagement of youths in peace advocacy meetings where issues promoting peaceful and harmonious living, devoid of religious, tribal, or regional inclinations, are made the focal points.

“We are a group of elders from the six geopolitical zones of the country that have worked at different high levels of our chosen careers. We are worried about the current security situation in the country.

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“It is regrettable that the development which had come like a child’s play some years ago has assumed the current dimension. As a country, we are currently sitting on a time bomb and we wish to sound alarm that if nothing urgent is done to arrest this ugly situation, we will be consumed.

“We are alarmed by the dangerous wave of violence blowing around the country, this must not be allowed to fester on, given that it does no one any good,” the group said in the statement.

Noting that the strategies adopted so far by the government in tackling insecurity seemed to have little or no positive results, the elders urged the federal administration, which it said is vested with the security of citizens, to adopt what is referred to as working strategies in handling the protracted insecurity.

The group also called on the government to constantly review security architecture, saying continuous restructuring is necessary to get needed results.

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“We are concerned about the blatant disregard for the federal character principles in appointments into key positions in the country. We task President Buhari to reflect on this and put things in their right places as the drafters of our constitution did not make any mistake in making the provision.

“Appointments into key positions should be evenly spread, devoid of religious, ethnic, and regional considerations.

“Appointments, particularly into key positions in the security sector, must be on merit besides regional consideration, to give every section of the country a sense of belonging. The insecurity building up as a result of cry against injustice and the quest for self-rule can be greatly tackled through this, hence, we are, by this, calling on Mr. President, to review his governing strategies with a view to getting needed and expected results.

“The government under Buhari must address the issues of injustice in appointments into key sectors, especially against the people of the South East.”

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