…Flay Katsina elders’ attack on Tinubu
By Shafa’atu Suleiman
A group of northern youths on Sunday blamed the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari for the upsurge in cases of banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities in many parts of the country.
The group also accused the Buhari administration of bequeathing a comatose economy to the Bola Tinubu administration. Buhari was president from May 29, 2015 to May 29, 2023.
At a media briefing in Sokoto on Sunday, the group, under the aegis of the Northwest Youths Progressives Forum (NYPF), said the current economic woes were products of wrong policy choices by the Buhari administration.
The group listed rising unemployment, the shutting down of industries, dizzying inflation, declining value of Nigerian lives among other problems, as spill over from the wrong policies of the Buhari administration.
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The NYPF spoke against the backdrop of threats by a group of Katsina elders vowing “consequences” if President Tinubu allowed a relocation of an aviation facility from Katsina to Lagos. The Katsina elders had asked Tinubu to reverse the relocation order or risk losing the support of the entire North in the 2027 general election.
But in an address read by the group’s coordinator, Murtala Aliyu Ka’oje, the NYPF said the Katsina elders have no moral justifications to challenge any decision taken by the Tinubu administration because they failed in the past to challenge the impunity and wrong policy choices of the Buhari administration.
Ka’oje recalled that the Katsina elders did not stand up to speak against wrong policies that led to the wanton destruction of lives, properties and economy of the north under Buhari, saying that the wrong policy choices were responsible for the present terrible socio economic situation in the north.
Ka’oje said, “Why was it that the level of poverty, insecurity and political intimidation experienced under former President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership were not challenged by the same Katsina elders group?
“When did the Katsina elders become critics of federal government policies? More people lost their lives and valuable properties, farming activities were disrupted and all sectors of human endeavours almost collapsed due to insecurity and poor handling of governance by the past administration of President Buhari. Yet the Katsina Elders Forum never challenged the former President to adjust or buckle up.”
The group wondered why Tinubu who is from the Southwest, has now become a target of attacks for problems, which it said, were created by his predecessor from the north.
The NYPF also faulted threats by the Katsina elders to frustrate Tinubu’s undeclared bid for re-election in 2027, saying that serious minded persons can’t be talking about 2027 when the administration has only spent less than a year of its tenure.
“They (Katsina elders) ought to have advised Mr. President to convene a national summit on issues that affect security, economic development and political stability of the country, rather than showing their biased thoughts against the government of Bola Tinubu.
“We believe that the Federal Government under President Tinubu, from all indications, is competent and committing a lot of energy and resources to fight against banditry activities within the northern communities through both kinetic and non-kinetic approach”.
The group threw its weight behind backed the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, asking the Katsina elders and other pressure groups to work for national cohesion and stop creating political tension through unguided and unpatriotic statements against the Tinubu administration.
“We are commending the laudable efforts of Matawalle for his genuine commitment and proactive measures toward ensuring the success of the fight against insecurity in the Northwest region. We support the ongoing military air and ground operations in Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna states. The measures have so far yielded measurable victory for the Armed Forces attacking bandit enclaves.
“The Minister’s action has rekindled hope for the people of the Northwest region in the federal government’s commitment to the fight against banditry. The Armed Forces have shown capacity in fighting criminals that are terrorising innocent people in the region.”.
The group urged President Tinubu to continue to work towards ensuring the unity and stability of Nigeria and not to be deterred by the activities of ethnic and religious champions.