“You’re working for Atiku, PDP” – Northern youths berate elders for demanding Buhari’s resignation

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A socio-political group, Northern Youth Network (NYN) has faulted calls by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) for President Muhammadu Buhari to resign if he cannot find a lasting solution to insecurity in the country.

In a Tuesday statement signed by its Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, NEF had said that the Buhari administration “does not appear to have answers to the challenges of security to which we are exposed. We cannot continue to live and die under the dictates of killers, kidnappers, rapists and sundry criminal groups that have deprived us of our rights to live in peace and security.

“Our Constitution has provisions for leaders to voluntarily step down if they are challenged by personal reasons or they prove incapable of leading.

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“It is now time for President Buhari to seriously consider that option, since his leadership has proved spectacularly incapable of providing security for Nigerians. Our Forum is aware of the weight of this advice, and it is also aware that we cannot continue to live under these conditions until 2023 when President Buhari’s term ends.”

However, in a counter-statement on Thursday, NYN said the NEF’s demand was “unpatriotic” and capable of weakening the morale of gallant soldiers on the battlefield.

The youth group further described the call as “ill-motivated”, saying it was coming at a time that Nigerian troops were on the verge of finally crushing BokoHaram/ISWAP terrorists, bandits and other threats to national security.

NYN, in the statement signed by its Convener, Mallam Abdulrahman Ahmed, said it was surprised NEF had not seen the vigour and determination the Nigerian Army has put into the war against insurgency and banditry in the past weeks and the successes recorded.

This renewed onslaught has led to the killing of many notable notorious bandits and the destruction of their enclaves and armoury. Curiously, despite the killing, capture and surrender of Boko Haram fighters, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed has never come out to commend the gallantry of the Armed forces.

“Before now, part of the reason was that the terrorists operated with superior weapons to those used by our security agencies. Today, President Buhari has purchased weapons for modern warfare and our military is well equipped and has moved from a reactionary approach to the war against insurgency to taking the war to the enclaves of the terrorists and bandits with devastating consequences. This has led to the elimination of many notorious bandits and their commanders with thousands of their fighters surrendering to the military.

“We wish to also remind the Northern Elders Forum that, one major breakthrough is the declaration of bandits as terrorists by President Buhari administration. With this instrument of the law, the Nigerian military has moved to the northeast with sophisticated weapons to protect the nation and eliminate the bandits. This has been gazetted making it illegal for terrorists and bandits to operate in the country and for anyone to aid and abet same.”

According to NYN, the Air Force’s bombardment of criminal hideouts has given impetus to the war on terror and Nigerians must support the Nigerian Armed Forces to wipe out the criminal elements.

“The Air Force supported by ground troops through impeccable intelligence gathering has dealt a deadly blow on the terrorists and bandits, destroying their camps, armoury and eliminating several of them including their top commanders and their families.

“The bombardment of the compound of a notorious Bandit Leader, Alhaji Zaki in Bayan-Magari Forest Birnin Magaji in Zamfara State, an attack which led to the elimination of all members of his family.

“The communities must support the military with information on the whereabouts of these criminals as they do not operate in a vacuum. It is our settled opinion that Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed and his Northern Elders Forum are playing 2023 politics with the security situation in the country, they megaphone cowardly attacks by fleeing terrorists and refuse to commend when Nigerian soldiers inflict devastating blows on the criminals.

“Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed and his group are well known PDP sympathizers working for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar a presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2023 general elections. As a matter of fact, Dr Hakeem’s brother, Dr Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed is a Guber contestant in Kaduna State on the platform of the PDP. These are well known political entrepreneurs who have been unable to make a profit from the Buhari government.

“In 2019, the Northern Elders Forum asked President Buhari not to contest for re-election; they urged Nigerians not to vote for Buhari. It is obvious they have not recovered from the humiliating defeat they suffered in that election.

“Such unpatriotic and partisan call should not emanate from a group that calls itself, elders. If the call of the Northern Elders Forum is to get an invitation to the government they have failed. The PMB administration should remain focused and avoid detractors like the NEF.

“We commend the gallantry of the armed forces particularly. We urge the military to remain focused and determined and committed to fighting criminality in the country”,

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