Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed and Professor Ango Abdullahi, masquerading as a forum of Northern Elders, have no business pretending to speak for northern interests, nor are they fit for such representation.
The Buhari Media Organization (BMO) says the two men, who it described as spent politicians, have neither the character nor mandate to lead anybody, “but are simply craving attention by playing politics with very serious business”,
BMO, in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju, and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, said that the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) as presently constituted, is an extension of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), “politicians who are craving attention after losing out in the 2019 election.
“These two men who parade themselves as NEF, are members of the PDP who have been exiled from the political space, courtesy the votes of Nigerians. They have been shown a red card. Second, they do not have the interests of the North at heart. What we see them pursuing with their ramblings in the media is selfish interest.
“Any elder in the North, who truly knows the North and means well for the region, rather than make irritable accusations against the President, would begin engagements with the various communities where insecurity is prevalent. Times without number, Nigerians have been alerted that most of the security threats that communities are facing are as a result of either the cooperation of the community members, and their leaders, with the bandits and terrorist groups, or the lack of this cooperation from the community and its leaders with our security agencies.
“Any serious northern elder and politician would call out those community leaders who are in bed with bandits and are failing to cooperate with our security agencies. Security, especially on this issue, is a community matter, not a TV ranting affair. If the so-called Northern Elders Forum were genuine they would have acted accordingly.”
The group noted that despite the challenges being faced with security in some parts of the North, the security agencies are making significant achievements in their engagements.
BMO noted that after an assiduous appraisal of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and its sister agencies, it concluded that they had embarked on successful and well-sustained onslaught nation-wide, and as a result had achieved aggressive clearance operations across the North-East aimed at conclusively ending terrorism in the region. “These active operations led to the elimination of Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State West Africa Province top commanders, spies, gun runners, logistic bases, armouries, while many captives of the terrorists have regained their freedom”.
BMO commended members of the Civilian Joint Task Force for their “bravery which has left the high command of the terrorists in disarray. What we are seeing now is the last kick of a dying horse”.
The Pro-Buhari group, while reassuring Nigerians that the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, is committed to all ongoing operations against the country’s common enemies, highlighted that one of the most wanted ISWAP commanders, Amir Imar, has just been neutralized by the country’s gallant troops.
“These operations are still on course with current indicators showing tremendous successes across the various theatre of operations. The renewed zeal and determination by troops to take their firepower to the enemy’s camp continue to bear fruit.
“Troops of Operation Whirl Punch under Operation Accord, a joint operation involving the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have constantly subdued and dominated the bandits and cattle rustlers along the North West axis. A military operation against the bandits in that zone is ongoing, courtesy an order from President Buhari; structures harbouring weapons and ammunition have been demobilized, alongside the bandits. Their logistics couriers are being arrested and are now helping the security agencies with actionable intelligence in tracking and bringing their collaborators to book. Over 400 bandits have since been neutralized since the commencement of the operation in Katsina.
“If anyone tells you that this administration has not made significant strides in tackling the insecurity challenges in the North, that person has kept truth hidden in his bushels”, the statement noted.
BMO then advised that all actions and utterances must be tailored towards supporting the territorial integrity of Nigeria.