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Borno Killings: Northern Elders Lament, Claim Life Has Lost Value Under Buhari’s Administration

Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum and other officials attend the burial of the victims of slain farmers in Zabarmari area of the state on November 29, 2020. Credit: Borno State Govt

The Northern Elders’ Forum, (NEF) have lamented over the recent murder of farmers in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents claiming that life has lost value under President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration

The Forum in a statement through its spokesman, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed,  lamented that the lives of Nigerians no longer have value under the present administration due to the constant attacks and killings of innocent citizens, hence they want  President Buhari to toe the path of honour and resign for failing to ensure the security of the Nation.

“Northern Elders Forum (NEF) joins Nigerians in expressing outrage at the killings of farmers in Borno State and many other people on a daily basis in many parts of the North. Our voices have been raised without pause for a long time against pervasive insecurity in our region.

“Under this administration, life has lost its value, and more and more citizens are coming under the influence of criminals. We do not see any evidence of a willingness on the part of President Buhari to honour his oath to provide security over Nigerians,” the statement read in part.

The Northern leaders also asked President Buhari to resign if he cannot secure the nation and ensure the protection of lives and property of citizens whom he swore to protect.

Highlighting a thread of threats in the Northern part of the country to include Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, rustling, and kidnapping, the Northern leaders said these need immediate intervention and solution.

“In civilized nations, leaders who fail so spectacularly to provide security will do the honourable thing and resign. Our voices have been raised without pause for a long time against pervasive insecurity in our region.

“We have consistently drawn attention to lack of political will to fight the Boko Haram insurgency and other threats such as banditry, rustling, and kidnapping.

“We had offered suggestions on how the security infrastructure could be improved and leadership of the military could be made more effective,” they said.

The leaders lamented that their advice and that of many other Nigerians, “have made no impression on President Muhammadu Buhari.”

The Northern Elders also faulted the response of the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu over the  Boko Haram killing of  43 rice farmers in Borno State, describing his statement as ‘most insensitive’.

“These particular killings have been greeted by the most insensitive response by spokespersons of the President. The lame excuse that farmers had not sought permission from the military to harvest produce merely exposed the misleading claims that our military had secured vast territories from the insurgency.”

The leaders said, “The killings and the reality they expose will make relocation of citizens and resumption of economic activities a lot more difficult to achieve even for leadership that attaches priority to them, and this administration does not.”

According to the Northern Elders, farming communities have been hampered by bandits and kidnappers and the “prospects for famine are real in the face of limited production of food in many of our communities.”

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