*Say Customs’ alert on presence of Boko Haram elements in FCT due to intelligence failure
Elders in the North Central states of the country have joined in the call for President Mohammadu Buhari to sack the service chiefs over the state of insecurity in the country.
The group of elders in the region, under the aegis of Coalition of North Central Elders, in a statement signed by their National Chairman, Engr Usman Bida and National Secretary, Barr Moses Okudu, appealed to the president to immediately restructure the security architecture.
The elders who said they were concerned about the alert on the presence of Boko Haram elements in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Abuja, by the Nigerian Customs Service, attributed the development to what it called “intelligence failure” on the part of the security agencies.
Their position came barely 24 hours after another group in the North under the umbrella of Arewa Professional Forum, APF, did not only express concerns over the worsening state of insecurity but also appealed to the president to relieve the top security heads from their position and inject fresh hands in the security management.
The group said it was “saddened that there is no state in the North Central that is free of terrorist attacks or that has not had its own fair share of the mindless killings of innocent citizens one time or the other”, recalling with regret that the region was” the most peaceful in the entire North.”
It reminded the president that the first step in restoring security in the country was the restructuring of the security architecture with the sacking of the service chiefs.
According to the group, “Nigerians are tired of rhetoric and promises of security situation getting better.”
The statement read in full: “The entire Management and members of Coalition of North Central Elders, wish to condemn in the most strongest term the unabated state of insecurity in our region in particular and Nigeria at large.
“We join other well-meaning Nigerians to call on Mr. President to immediately restructure the current security architecture in the country with the sacking of the Service Chiefs as the first steps.
“Nigerians are tired of rhetoric and promises of the security situation getting better.
“We are saddened that there is no state in the North Central that is free from terrorists attacks or that has not had it own fair share of the mindless killing of innocent citizens one time or the other, a region that was the most peaceful in the entire north.
“When we were about to recover from the arrest of over 400 terrorists with dangerous weapons in Toto Local Government of Nasarawa by the military which was quite commendable, we are taken aback, with the recent intelligence reports released by Nigerian Customs Service, of the presence of Boko Haram elements in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and some local government areas in Nasarawa and Niger states. This is a complete failure of intelligence.
“As it stands today, the well-meaning citizens of North Central and Nigeria, are frightened by this information.
Some parts of Nasarawa, Niger, and Kogi states are no-go areas because of the activities of these terrorists that kill, kidnap, and rob people at will as if we are in a Banana republic.
“In Niger State, people are killed on a daily basis, women are raped and children killed by this terrorist group.
“We voted for President Muhammed Buhari because of his vast experience in security and integrity and we expect the best from him.
” Mr. President, we are with you, and will always be, but we feel your continued retention of the Service Chiefs for the last five years running is totally against the wishes of Nigerian people given that it is causing a lot of low morale and bad work zeal in the entire Armed Forces, we appeal that you act now.
“Mr President sir, four officers cannot be more experienced than thousands of the officers we have in the Armed Forces. It is on this note that we appeal to you to as a matter of urgency and national importance sack them from office.”