By Emmanuel Nduka
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has demanded the immediate resignation of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, over worsening insecurity across the country, especially in the northern region.
The call was made on Tuesday by the group’s Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, insisting 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.
“It is now time for President Buhari to seriously consider that option, since his leadership has proved spectacularly incapable of providing security over 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,” Baba-Ahmed added.
The forum stressed that it made the recommendation with the highest sense of responsibility, and expressed hope that there are enough Nigerians who enjoy the confidence of President Buhari to advise him to consider resigning.
Baba-Ahmed lamented that killings and assaults on communities have now become daily features of lives of all Nigerians, as traveling anywhere is now risky, and the option of staying put does not make anyone safer.
“Killers and other criminals appear to have sensed a paralyzing vacuum at the highest levels of leadership, and they grow more confident and acquire more competence in subverting the State and our security.
“Nigerians have shed enough tears and blood without appropriate response from those with responsibilities to protect us,” he added.
The NEF further advised politicians aspiring to lead the nation to weigh their capacities and commitments and challenges of leadership very carefully.
According to the group, leading Nigeria out of its current state and placing it firmly on the path of rediscovery is not an all-comers affair and Nigerians will exercise greater levels of discretion in deciding who they can trust in future.
“There are also groups who deepen the concerns of Nigerians over the possibility of a safe and free campaigning and conduct of the 2023 elections. Comments which threaten those parochial political demands must be met, rather than negotiated or processed through the democratic process threaten all Nigerians and hint at a wider space for violence in the run-up to the elections, and after it.
“These comments are unbecoming of elders, and they detract from the genuine and difficult search for good leaders who will be totally committed to one nation with very serious challenges.
“Our Forum re-commits to engagements and dialogue with all politicians and groups to seek the lowering of tensions and stresses which represent threats to our democratic process. The Forum condoles families who have lost members, and prays with those whose members are kidnapped that they will be re-united without further delay,” the NEF added.