They lamented that while the region still lives under horrendous Boko Haram threats, large swathes of territory in the north have effectively become bandit land.
NEF Chairman, Prof. Ango Abdullahi stated this at a press briefing in Zaria during the weekend.
The forum specifically charged President Muhammadu Buhari to demonstrate higher level of concern and sensibility to the plight of traumatized citizens, especially in Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Benue, Niger, Plateau and Taraba.
He said, “The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) is alarmed and its members saddened by the recent cataclysmic collapse of security, and the sanguinary and indeed colossal threat to life and property in many parts of Nigeria but more seriously in the North.
“Today, the North still lives under horrendous Boko Haram threats, a situation which has been aggravated by threats of banditry, kidnappings, armed robbery, marauding youth gangs, herders and farmers mini-wars, and seemingly overwhelmed or indifferent governments.
“Large swathes of territory in our region are now effectively bandit land. Agriculture, our pride and national economic comparative advantage, the greatest employer of labour and leading contributor to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product is in ruins as animal husbandry, and crops and roots farming is in the throes of war and damage.
“Our rural folk live in perpetual fear of attacks from sundry terrorist assailants without any reprieve. Our major highways and transportation systems are being abandoned as they have become death traps.
“We see in all these the cumulative effect of a region whose economy and people, especially the youth have been abandoned. A dangerous youth bulge is indeed a recipe for crime, violence and wars. We understand that poverty and underdevelopment can create a brutish and violent society.
“Nigeria has just emerged from a very challenging and harrowing set of elections. This experience should provide a strategic turning point in the manner that political leaders respond to our basic national challenges.
“We hereby demand that President Buhari demonstrates higher levels of concern and sensitivity to the plight of traumatized citizens in the country, especially in the states of Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Benue, Niger, Plateau, Taraba and virtually the entire North.
“We demand for decisive, comprehensive and fundamental governmental action against poverty, underdevelopment and insecurity.
“Above all, we demand that President Buhari shows leadership and compassion which are the reciprocal expectations of the Nigerian people from their President. Should the citizens of the most populous black and African country and blessed with bounteous human and material resources be running away from bandits and criminals and become entangled in a causative web of crime, poverty, misery and underdevelopment?
“Without justifying the emigration of our people to other lands, we now see how and why our young men and women seek escape to Europe across the Sahara Desert to pursue menial jobs and Perilous. We now painfully see how desperate Nigerians running away from home, become victims of xenophobic attacks in some countries,” Northern Elders lamented.
They however argued that, Nigeria had the resources to build a better nation and said that, as people of conscience, they will insist that such happens.
Boko Haram: Troops kill 3 terrorists in Borno
A statement from Colonel Timothy Antigha, Chief of Military Public Information MNJTF N’Djamena – Chad said, on Monday’s night, at about 01:20 am, terrorists attacked troops position at Cross Kauwa, about 40 kilometers from Monguno.
“However, the terrorists paid dearly for it as 3 were killed, while others escaped with gun shot wounds.
“Similarly, one AK 47 Riffle, Motar bomb and General Purpose Machine Gun, respectively, were captured. Additionally, assorted rounds of ammunition were impounded,” the statement said.
Kogi will still become oil-producing State despite senate rejection – Senator Isaac Alfa
The lawmaker in his lead debate at the plenary insisted that the OPLs 915 and 916 crude oil are within the basin of Ibaji local government areas of Kogi State.
In his clarification at a press conference after plenary, he said that 53% of oil being produced by Orient Oil in Anambra State comes from the affected OPLs, saying that once the grey areas noticed by the Senate were addressed, Kogi would become an oil-producing state.
“The purpose of being here today is with regards to the motion I moved stating that Kogi State be declared an oil-producing state.”
“53% of oil from Anambra basin comes from oil well in Kogi State, the oil that is being produced now”, Isaac insisted.
“From my own assessment, it was a successful motion. It was not rejected 100%. Even at that, Kogi wasn’t rejected but because of the sensitive nature of the contiguous communities, Senate needed rigorous work before passing the law.
“Senate has directed its Committee on oil and gas (upstream) to conclude reports within two weeks.
“I have a reason for moving the motion. My position as a Senator wears two caps. I am a lawmaker and a Senator representing Kogi East Senatorial District.
”As a Senator representing Kogi East today, I am the highest political office holder in my districts and I have an obligation to represent their interest. ”
Senator Tayo Alasoadura, Chairman of Senate Committee on Petroleum who has not been forthcoming on the controversial issue was not willing to speak when DAILY POST visited his office.
10-year-old boy drowns in Kano
The Spokesman of the Kano State Fire Service, Mr Saidu Mohammed, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Kano that the incident happened on Tuesday afternoon when the deceased went to take his bath.
“We received a distress call from one Malam Abdullahi Naguru at about 03:15p.m. that Musa’s body was found floating in the water.
“On receiving the information, we quickly sent our rescue team to the scene at about 03:30p.m.
“Musa was found dead and his corpse was handed over to his father, Alhaji Musa Ya’u,’’ he said.
Mohammed advised the general public especially parents and ward heads to stop children from going into open water for whatever purpose to save their lives.
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