The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), has said that Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed and Professor Ango Abdullahi, who had often addressed the media on behalf of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), are not fit for such representation.
“They masquerade as a Forum of Northern Elders but have no business pretending to speak for northern interests, nor are they fit for such representation,” BMO said in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
The statement was signed by Mr Niyi Akinsiju, BMO Chairman, and the Secretary, Cassidy Maduekwe.
“The two men are spent politicians; they have neither the character nor mandate to lead anybody. They are simply craving for attention by playing politics with very serious issues,” the statement said.
“What we have there is a group of 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. 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 accusations against the President, will 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.
“Other communities get hit due to the lack of 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 said that security agencies were making significant gains in their engagements against criminals, adding that the armed forces had undertaken successful onslaughts against bandits nationwide.
“The security agents 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 group declared.
The group, while reassuring Nigerians that the President is committed to all ongoing operations against the country’s common enemies, highlighted that one of the most wanted ISWAP commanders, Amir Imar, had just been neutralised 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 has continued 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 of an order from President Buhari. Structures harbouring weapons and ammunition have been demobilised, 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 neutralised 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 the truth hidden in his bushels,” the statement said.
BMO advised that all actions and utterances must be tailored towards supporting the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
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