PRESS BRIEFING BY THE NIGERIAN YOUTH COALITION FOR DEMOCRACY, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND DEVELOPMENT ON THE INCESSANT KILLINGS IN NORTHERN NIGERIA AND THE STATE OF THE NATION BY ITS NATIONAL COORDINATOR HARUNA YUSUF ABBA.
Gentlemen of the press, the Nigerian Youth Coalition for Democracy, Good Governance and Development wishes to register a million appreciations to you for braving the cold day to grace this great exercise.
It an understatement to assert that the peace, security, unity and progress of our beloved country, Nigeria is now badly threatened. The recent developments in some parts of Northern Nigeria with the dangerous propensity they connote have made it imperative on us to lend our united voice.
Recently, we were clothed in a cozy of some pseudo security progress when in some parts of Maiduguri, our people no longer have to rush home, weaving through roadblocks with hearts in mouth before 6:00pm, nor be kept awake by the spine-chilling sounds of bomb blasts and military bullets piercing through the sky and lowering its sounds into their ears as they sleep, the IDPs returning to their permanent homes after horrible years in the camps, separated by all that makes life great, the reduction in abduction of the poor masses on their farmlands and homes at night, crippling of the insurgents ability to attack and overrun police station, motor parks, churches and mosques, the successful counter attacks on the insurgents leading to the rescue of the people initially in the terrorists’ captivity, and the opening of roads and paths into markets and other areas initially uninhabitable by the people who spent years building those places for a better life, among numerous other achievements.
While we celebrate the genius of our military personnel and the strategic policy approach of the government, it will be a brutal rape of conscience to look away like Pontius Pilate referred Jesus to Herod because the crucifixion wasn’t a Roman affair. The renewed attacks on some parts of northern Nigeria such as Southern Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Bassa,Barikin Ladi in Plateau State among others strike the codes and the fabric of our consciousness thereby compelling us to question the commitment of our government at all levels to protecting lives and properties, and promoting the peace and tranquility of the people.
The stony silence of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces who was also a war veteran, the noisy silence of the Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, the strategy-less Service Chiefs, and the confused policy makers scare us more than the bullets of the attackers.
The streets of our cities and villages are littered with the corpses of the innocent citizens and the hearts of our towns are stained with blood. All we hear as each day goes by are menial, albeit, unsolicited captions such as “The President condemned in its totality the killings of the people of bla blabla”, boon some condolences that doesn’t actually comfort us.
We are faced with three faces jeopardy: the whirl fire of Covid-19, the brutality of some unscrupulous elements who feast on the innocent and the failure of the government at all levels to protect the people. For this great sickness that is upon us, and the attendant subsets of events, we recommend the following:
1- The state and the local governments have an obligation and responsibility to ensure that the large amount of monies they receive as security votes are judiciously utilized. Such allocations over time are used to quench the loath and passions of those at the helm of affairs such as hiring and payments of thugs, and in maintenance and sustenance of unholy political structures who have no immediate relevance. The citizens who are the supposed beneficiaries are suffering because the machineries for the maintenance of peace are not adequately nourished.
2-The military and other relevant personnel operating in the theater command must be adequately funded to ensure a steady supply of war mechanism used in the fight against insurgents, bandits and kidnappers. Other incentives such as salary boon other motivational factors shall be available to the military personnel and other related agencies to revamp their morals. In unfortunate events such as lost of life or injury, machineries shall be set in motion to ensure adequate compensations.
3- The Nigerian Police Force, as never before needs to be enhanced in terms of personnel, training and equipment to be able to efficaciously undertake internal security operations to curtail some uneven military engagements and intervention on lives’ and properties’ protection. A soldier is trained to force peace.
4-The federal government needs to be intentional in developing some systematic approaches or fashioning myriads of policies to address the issues of security in the country as condemnations and condolence messages have done nothing to the people than causing provocations and outright display of hurts and sorrows.
5- Reconciliatory mechanisms shall be employed by the government at all level to enhance mutual tolerance and understanding among the people who are already divided along the lines of ethnicity and religion. Unless the people are adequately enlightened, the wanton few will continue to toy with them by giving them reasons to hate each other.
6- The issue of rape has become the order of the day ,as the cases keep increasing day by day on which something drastic needs to be done as the matter of urgency to curtailed the menace.
7- Our justice system which is now raddled with suspicions due to alleged favouritism in appointments need to be sanitized, and the judiciary be made independent to help enhance access to justice, prosecution of culprits and help build back the broken hope of the common man. The unfortunate approach of the government in freeing terrorist is alien to every sane clime and shall be upturn with all sense of urgency.
8- There is an urgent need for Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State to be the true Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum. His Excellency should do all within his powers to speak the plights of northerners to his colleagues and to the outside world and help cut down any pretext that doesn’t enhance accountability. We are sick of crying before our children in such a time as this that we ought to be giving them hope and strength.
9- The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is also the Commander In-Chief of the Armed Forces should be informed that we are sick and tired of mourning deaths and singing funeral dirges. We need a Nigeria he promised us, not this current thing pinned down by pains, hunger and insecurity.
10- The EFCC, ICPC and other related agencies shall be empowered to investigate and prosecute those feasting on the meals of the poor citizens.
11- The practices of discriminations and molestation occasioned by Mr. President’s appointments is tearing the nation apart and shall be reverse to reflect the diversity of the Nigerian State. We cannot develop until we all get to a point where we all will be emotionally attached to our country.
12- As an obligation, the citizens shall strive to stand together in the protection of each other, and the long lasting values of tolerance. Until we all are able to stand together in peace, we will continue to be toys in the hands of radicals.
Consequently, by this notice, we give the presidency two weeks to react positively on increasing the security situation that is ravaging the country.
Finally, we are pained by the sad state of things in our country today. No amount of English can convey the weight of our hearts. If it is not possible to have access to good water, have more jobs created for the youths, have our schools adequately funded, and have our hospital well equipped and our rural communities electrified. We at least want to live in peace and the government at all levels shall as a matter of urgency, rise to the occasion and salvage the situation.
May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Thank you all.