The fast rising of insecurity across the 19 northern states has turned the northern establishment, comprising elders, academics, promiment clerics, traders, farmers and a segment of the public against President Muhammadu Buhari.
Cutting across parties and faiths, the regional leaders, who hitherto were supporters of the president, told Daily Trust on Sunday in exclusive interviews that Buhari had woefully failed in meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the region, thus the calls for his resignation.
The gale of the calls for the President’s head was aggravated by the recent massacre of rice farmers in Zabarmari village in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents.
Daily Trust on Sunday reported that killing, kidnapping by armed bandits and other non-state armed men have become the norm in most parts of the northern region.
Buhari rode on the electoral strength of the region to win the presidency in 2015 and 2019.
Setting the tone, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) said President Buhari should resign, echoing that he had not demonstrated any will to bring an end to the insurgency and killings in the North and by all accounts is fast becoming the worst president Nigeria has ever had since it’s independence from the British in 1960.
Through a statement by its director of publicity and advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the forum noted, “In civilised nations, leaders who fail so spectacularly to provide security will do the honourable thing and resign.”
The NEF’s request came days after the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the umbrella body of the region, told the president to fear Allah and live up to his oath office.
Specifically, the ACF told the president that, “We feel there is no need to call on President Buhari to live up to his oath of office. He knows more than anybody else, the implications of swearing on the Quran and refusing to honour your oath to the Almighty.”
Summing up the situation, the Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, said the North was the worst place to live in the country, in view of the escalating insecurity.
Also, a former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, has asked Buhari to seek for forgiveness from Allah for the country to live in peace. Speaking on BBC Hausa service, Lamido said Buhari should drop his arrogance and seek for Allah’s forgiveness, adding that maybe he has committed sins that are affecting the country.
Also, prominent Islamic clerics like the National Chairman of Jama’atu Izalatul Bidi’ah wa Ikamatus Sunnah, Sheikh Abdullahi Bala Lau; the Secretary- General of Jamatu Nasril Islam, Dr Khalid Aliyu; and Sheikh Abubakar Gero Argungu, among others, have all raised their voices calling on the president to wake up and save the North from extinction.
But the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the calls amounted to playing dirty politics with the issue of security.
The minister said, “Mr President was elected in 2015 for a four-year term and re-elected in 2019 for another four-year term. No amount of hysterical calls for resignation will prevent him from serving out his term.’’
Buhari should resign, apologise to Nigerians – Dr Bugaje
The Convener of the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), Dr Usman Bugaje, said Buhari should not only resign as president but apologise to Nigerians for destroying the country.
Bugaje, a political activist and civil society leader, said it would be good for the country if the president simply left office, adding that he has failed to uphold the country’s constitution, which gives him the mandate to protect the lives and property of Nigerians.
“He needs to leave because he came and destroyed the country. What is he going to do again?
People need to ask what he would stay to do. People are being slaughtered and you can’t even take a plane to go and commiserate with the people; you are sending people on errands. Your military has failed and you are still sitting there. He swore to a constitution that says your primary role in government is to protect lives and property. You are not doing that and you are sitting there; doing what?” he asked.
Speaking in the same vein, the youth leader of the Brethren Nigeria (EYN Church), Lafia Nasarawa State, and National Youth Leader, Congress of Northern Nigeria Christians (CNNC), Daniel Kadzai, an engineer, told Daily Trust on Sunday that Buhari was dignifying failure.
According to him, the president should be impeached without further delay, for gross incompetence.
“Perhaps those calling for his resignation lost confidence in the National Assembly, otherwise, how can they allow Buhari to continue after dozens of impeachable offences? In 2016, Buhari allocated $2 billion to fight insurgency without recourse to the National Assembly.
The constitution allows 35 years or 60 years, today the service chiefs have overstayed amidst the embarrassing incompetence, and have failed woefully in discharging their duties despite huge sums allocated to them.
“Under their watch, their colleague, a General, cried for lack of weapons from the battleground and he was court marshalled and convicted. Many soldiers fighting insurgency committed suicide because of frustration,” Kadzai said.
He said the call was an indication that Buhari scammed Nigerians, especially northern elders and most of the clerics wailing on the social media, to clinch power.
“You know the Sultan of Sokoto hardly talks, except something is happening. Even the Emir of Katsina has almost disowned Mr President. Something is certainly wrong.
On his part, an Associate Professor of Political Sociology and Dean of Student Affairs, University of Abuja, Dr Abubakar Umar Kari, said the calls for Buhari’s resignation were a reflection of the level of disenchantment of an increasing number of Nigerians with the president and his government.
“Many citizens, including those who used to be core Buhari supporters, have been deeply outraged, disappointed and angry with his mishandling of the deteriorating security situation in the country. The government does not seem to be serious, ready or even capable of addressing the problem, and this state of affairs is unacceptable to most people,” Kari told Daily Trust on Sunday.
He said although the calls were being spearheaded by the opposition and those with an axe to grind with the president, it has been gaining momentum, and even Buhari’s supporters are fast joining the calls.
According to him, “The country has been literally taken over by bandits, insurgents and armed non-state actors, who have been killing, maiming and terrorising citizens, while the government appears indifferent, helpless, or, at least, not meeting up to the challenge.”
He said the calls constituted a great setback for the president, particularly given that even northerners have joined the fray.
“A number of diehard Buhari’s supporters are now calling for his head. This shows the magnitude and depth of the disenchantment. It also represents a negative turning point for the president. Unless something decisive is done in the coming days, history will not be kind to a presidency that enjoyed so much support and understanding from the people.
“Buhari must act fast and decisively. Order must be restored forthwith. The criminals must be confronted and defeated. Anything short of that is unacceptable to Nigerians,” he said.
Like Kari, Dr Tukur Abdulkadir, a political scientist in the Kaduna State University (KASU), said those clamouring for the president’s resignation were reacting out of anger, which he said was the manifestation of the level of frustration among Nigerians.
He, however, said the call was a clear indication that the president had “woefully failed” in addressing the yearnings and aspirations of the people.
“I think there is no need for him to resign at this stage, but honestly, it is a clarion call and he should have a rethink,” he said.
“In the National Assembly, which is dominated by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), you can clearly see the level of frustration and despair, even among his party members. If care is not taken, the APC might be taught the same lessons the people of Nigeria taught the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, unless they wake up from their slumber,” he said.
The political scientist, however, advised the president to have a rethink about the way and manner he conducts the business of governance and stop his personalisation of the issue of power.
“If he, as a person, is contented with the performance and level of commitment of the service chiefs, the situation in the grassroots suggest otherwise. The people of Nigeria voted for him; they did not vote for General Buratai, Air Marshall Saddique and other service chiefs. Therefore, he should subordinate his personal interest to the collective yearnings and aspirations of the people, otherwise history will be harsh on his regime. I am sure he wouldn’t want to be seen in the next three years as one of the worst leaders the nation ever had, or one whose lethargic approach to governance led us to where we are today,” he was quoted as saying.
Source: Daily Trust