Military, Police Chiefs Must Go – Northern Leaders
A group of northern leaders have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately change the
leadership and structures of the military and police in Nigeria.
While calling for an end to all protests, the group called on President Buhari to address the nation and
assure Nigerians especially the youth that their voices have been heard.
A statement by the group of 36 Nigerians from the North including, Engr Bello Suleiman,
Alhaji Mohammed Bello Kirfi, Yomi Awoniyi, and Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed stated that:
“We are particularly disappointed at the tepid and disjointed responses of the administration.
“In particular, we have noted the distinct impression that the administration operates under the
impression that the pressures and multiple interests behind these protests can be accommodated by
routine and pedestrian approaches in administrative and policy styles.”
The group stressed that the continuation of protests could lead to negative consequences that include
more damaging acts of lawlessness that will worsen the state of insecurity of citizens as well as serious
damage to the economy, increasing negative influence of foreign interests in the country’s national affairs
as well as further damage to the image and confidence of security, law and order institutions.
Other consequences, according to the group,
include “increasing polarization of constituent parts of the nation and deepening the fault lines
in our national politics; further alienation of younger Nigerians from political processes and institutions;
widening the scope for opportunistic interests that target the political process,
particularly the elections in 2023, and the possibility that the country could be threatened by desperate
attempts to pitch supporters and opponents of the administration against each other.”
They urged the government to show a more determined effort at fighting the Boko Haram insurgency,
banditry and kidnapping in the North, as well as the assumption of full responsibility to maintain all
Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) camps in the northern states by the federal government and
responsibility for securing communities and returning IDPs to their communities.
It called for an immediate resolution of the strike by ASUU and immediate resumption of all
tertiary institutions as well as commitment from governments not to prosecute or punish
peaceful protesters and the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry into the killing of
protesters in Lagos and other parts of the country.