*say Northern region almost lost to insecurity
*insist bandits are criminals, must be dealt with
*say true Muslims hate killing, rape, other vices
*express confidence in Buhari’s capacity to change things before 2023
By; KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Some concerned Islamic clerics have condemned the rising spate of insecurity, saying the situation could only be contained through the total overhauling of the current national security architecture which they argued, has failed to live up to the dynamics and complexities of crime and criminality in the society.
To achieve this, the Islamic teachers called on President Muhammadu Buhari to without further delay, sack the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Mohammed Babagana Monguno (rtd), as well as the service chiefs.
The clerics, who operate on the platform of Conference Of Concerned Islamic Clerics In Nigeria (CCICN), said the removal of the NSA, and the service chiefs, will pave way for the appointment of fresh hands who in turn, will bring new and workable ideas to bear in dealing with activities of terrorists, kidnappers, bandits and other enemies of the state threatening national security and peace.
In a statement jointly signed by Sheikh Muhammadu Ibrahim Anka. and Mallam Usman Pategi, National Coordinator, and National Secretary respectively, the patriots feared that the Northern region may be lost to insecurity, unless urgent steps are taken to contain the growing insecurity therein.
“The situation is so bad now that our people can hardly access their farms and other concerns, hence the food insufficiency that is hitting the entire nation”, the statement said.
It added that, “As concerned Islamic clerics, we call on our distinguished President to consider the immediate sack of his NSA, and service chiefs, preparatory to the total overhauling of Nigeria’s security architecture.
“We are making the demand from a patriotic point of view, particularly as we are interested in the success of Mr. President’s administration, which many argue, has not done well in the area of security management.
“It is also important to state, for the records, that Islam and all its teachings, has no place for killing, rape, kidnapping, banditry and such other criminal tendencies perpetrated by these retrogressive elements.
“That is why, apart from calling for national security rejigging, we further implore authorities to hasten to arrest the criminal elements, and put them to trial, as that will reduce tension in the country”.
The statement read in parts,
“We are here in Abuja today the capital city of Nigeria to express our utmost frustration with the insecurity in Nigeria especially the Northern part of Nigeria that used to be peaceful.
“We condemn the insecurity in the North in totality, even as we also wish to clearly state that these bandits are not Muslims; their actions do not in anyway,or form represent islam.
“No true Muslim will kill, rape, steal or kidnap people for ransom under any guise whatsoever. Their actions are unislamic, and must be condemned by all, they are terrorists and must be treated as such.
“The insecurity in Northern Nigeria today is liken to a failed state in every ramifications and until a major decision to rejig the entire security architecture is carried out in days or weeks, we may lose our region to bandits.
“As it stands today 60% of North West communities and some in Niger state North central are completely under the government of the bandits we can confirm.
“Farmers in those communities pay taxes to the bandits before they can access their own farms, the pay extra money to access water for irrigation, in a sovereign state like Nigeria, this is completely unacceptable.
“There will be severe hunger in Northern Nigeria by next year, there will be so many fatherless children in their thousands in the North because of the numerous unwanted pregnancies; these heartless bandits have impregnated our children out of their wish.
“Nigerians and Northerners particularly have never had it this bad in terms of insecurity and the president and commander in chief of the Armed forces President Muhammadu Buhari must do something fast and urgent to address this mess”
It continued: “This criminals rape women and children in the presence of their husbands in our communities, they move freely with Ak 47 and other rifles on market days in our communities and yet the security chiefs are seating comfortably in Abuja?
“We are double sure that they President is not getting sincere briefing from the NSA and his service chiefs that’s why we have come to Abuja to meet with some key Government officials to let them know the true situation of things in the North. As unbiased stakeholders who are concerned about the welfare of our people.
“The North is almost lost to the bandits and there’s every need to urgently reclaim it. We trust in the ability of the president to still redeem his name and administration before he leaves in 2023.
“We therefore join our voice with the several concerned Nigerians, who have been calling for the sack of the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), and all the service chiefs and replace them with competent professionals, who will do this work.
“We demand their immediate sack obviously this crops of service chiefs seems to have lost ideas on how to turn things around.”