The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has faulted call by Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, that President Muhammadu Buhari should resign over the spate of insecurity in the country.
Abaribe, a Senator on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, made the call on the floor of the Senate while contributing to a debate on insecurity.
However, the Secretary-General of ACF, Anthony Sani said Buhari can’t resign because his administration had been able to combat Boko Haram and reduce the activities of insurgents to the “fringes of the Northeast.”
Sani insisted that unlike previous administrations when Boko Haram was on rampage, Buhari’s government has been able to curtail the activities of the insurgents from spreading beyond the Northern part of the country.
A statement by Sani reads: “I do not share the sentiments of the senator who has called for the resignation of President Buhari on account of his expressed surprise at the recent resurgence of attacks in some parts of the country. This is because, in spite of the recent upsurge of insecurity, no one can deny the fact that the emergence of this regime under President Buhari has substantially reduced insecurity posed by Boko Haram which has been consigned to fringes of North East as against in the past when Boko Haram attacked almost all parts of the North and was heading towards southern part of the country.
“Boko Haram attacked UN offices in Nigeria, attacked police HQ in Abuja. In some attacks like the one in Kano, one attack could claim hundreds of people. In 2012, gunmen attacked a village in Plateau state and killed hundreds of people that included a serving senator. Within the next seven days, another attack occurred in the adjacent village and claimed another hundred of victims.”
The ACF scribe recalled that the attacks by the insurgents were so fierce that people became afraid of gathering in public space.
He also noted that prior to Buhari’s government, killings were on the high side, pointing out that Bola Ige, Funso Williams, among other prominent Nigerians were assassinated.
“The attacks were so ubiquitous across the North and instilled fear among the people who dared not go to worship places, to markets, and to garages to board vehicles.
“During the National Conference of 2014, some delegates from Benue state cried of genocide and ethnic cleansing in the state. That was the time there was abduction of Chibok girls which took about 72 hours before there was an order from above for the chase of the vehicles conveying them, during which time some 56 girls escaped.
“The period before the immediate past regime witnessed several high profile killings such as those of Chiefs Bola Ige, Funsho Williams, Harry Marshall, Dekibbo,etc, and many ethnoreligious clashes in many states across the country that claimed thousands of lives.
It is against this backdrop that Buhari and APC made taming of insecurity one of the three campaign promises. Naturally, most Nigerians heeded the campaign promises and voted him and the APC in 2015.”
He stressed that upon assumption of power, Buhari on seeing the challenges in the country started making efforts towards diversifying the economy and resolving the problems.
“And when the President was inaugurated and saw the level of challenges by way of high level of insecurity, of corruption and of the work needed to diversify the economy from consumption-based import-dependent to export-dependent productive economy away from dependence on oil wealth that is natural resources, he confessed to the nation that he had considered the possibility of abdication but was prevented from doing so by patriotic instinct and the fact that great leaders are defined by great challenges because such leaders pursue causes higher than themselves as worthy impulses.
“He, therefore, decided to confront the challenges and recorded some appreciable successes which consigned Boko Haram to fringes of the North East and their attacks were reduced to occasional suicide bombings using small girls. Consequently, the fears which hitherto overwhelmed the North gave way to hope and confidence that comes with normal life.
“That accounted largely for one of the reasons most Nigerians reelected the regime in 2019.
But as soon as the government was inaugurated for second term, there was upsurge of insecurity posed by kidnappings, armed robbery, banditry, clashes between herders and farmers, cultism, ritual killings and rapping. As a result, this regime had to face the upsurge with available resources which brought them under control until very recently when the insecurity resurfaced with some vigor.
“It is the new developments that made the president to express surprise when a delegation from Niger state led by the governor paid him a courtesy call.
“It is therefore stunning and bewildering of anybody of status of a senator to use such an honest expression of surprise that comes with a serious sense of concern by the president as the basis to call for the resignation of the president. This smacks of mischief that does not derive from any sense of patriotic courage,” he added.