OVERVIEW OF: Religious, ethnic considerations in fight against insurgency worsened situation - Northern elders
Northern elders have blamed the festering insecurity in the country, especially in the North East and North West geopolitical zones, on some leaders and elders of the region whom they allege had an idea of the danger at the beginning of the crisis but refused to tell the truth.
The elders say the attachment of religious and regional considerations in dealing with crisis was the bane of progress in the war against insecurity, as such considerations allegedly resulted in the advice to President Muhammadu Buhari not to pick security chiefs outside the North.
The elders under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development, in a statement issued on Friday, traced the origin of heightened insecurity in the North to the appointments made by Buhari in the security circle with little consideration for professionalism and proven competence.
The statement read, “As difficult as it’s in speaking the truth, we feel constrained to admit that our quick resort to religious, ethnic and regional considerations led us to advise the president in the wrong directions.
“The war against insecurity could have been a thing of the past if we had made good and informed decisions. We believe the complete consideration of our interest in making appointments into security agencies, among other things, led us to this present situation. Our decision resulted in a deep drop in the pursuit of the war against terrorists, thus emboldened the adversaries on the other hand.
The statement by Engr. Goni Zana, the group’s National Coordinator, the Northern elders, said the wrong advice from leaders and elders of the region to the president in making such a decision was the greatest undoing.
To this end, they have urged the president to henceforth stop adhering to advice from people of narrow interest and begin to make only decisions that are pro-Nigeria to correct the many ills of his administration towards a better Nigeria.
Decisions such as the appointment of service chiefs should be reviewed to reflect the various geopolitical zones as well as other appointments in other areas of Nigeria’s national life
The statement added, “We wish to once again raise the alarm over the deteriorating state of security in the North. We’ve been crying and will continue to cry until the situation gets better.
“We are losing it as a country, and Mr President needs to take extra steps before we are consumed at the rate at which we are going now if nothing is done within the shortest possible time, we may not have a country to call our own. The era of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is over. We cannot continue to dwell in the past. It’s time to move forward now.”
According to the elders, “Mr President must ignore every sectional, regional, tribal and religious sentiments and go for the best hands that can do this job of securing our country.
“As northern elders who are concerned about the peace, security and stability of our dear nation, we wish to appeal to those people of influence in the North who have access to the president to always speak the truth to him especially in appointments or reforms in the security sectors and others even if it doesn’t favour our region and religion provided such appointments will bring lasting peace and unify Nigeria.
The elders tasked President Buhari not to look back in correcting his mistakes in appointments into the security sector, adding that various geopolitical zones should be involved in the management of the tense security situation.
They, however, urged Nigerians to believe in their country and work for its betterment because ”we have just one country and nobody will build our nation for us”.