…Poly students insist President must sack service chiefs
By Clifford Ndujihe, Anayo Okoli, Dayo Johnson, Levinus Nwabughiogu, Rotimi Ojomoyela, James Ogunnaike & Ibrahim Hassan
ANGRY reactions, yesterday, continued to shadow Thursday’s insistence by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief of Air Staff, CAS, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, that Boko Haram has been decimated.
Among those who disagreed with the claim yesterday, were Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE; the Arewa Consultative Youth Forum, AYCF; and the National Association of Polytechnic Students, NAPS, among others, who gave President Buhari a 14-day ultimatum to sack the service chiefs over what the students body described as worsening insecurity in the country.
Dismissing the claim, apex Igbo Socio-Cultural Organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, said the war has been won only in the media.
“I said it in many fora that the battle against Boko Haram has been won more in the media than the battle field. This is not the first time we are hearing that Boko Haram has been technically defeated or decimated. What are the yardsticks they used to determine the level of decimation?
“The deadly group is still wreaking havoc on the people of Nigeria and the security palliatives should not be decorative words in the media.
“The presidency has become the student and, as well, the examiner. No one would fail in an examination he has set for himself. I think the proper constituency to determine the veracity or otherwise of the security of lives and property in Nigeria is the people of Nigeria who are at the receiving end.
“There is panic in every nook and cranny of Nigeria due to the influx of dare devil miscreants with our borders seemingly so deliberately porous without hindrances.
“The action of the Federal Government as it concerns security is totally unsatisfactory and should be a source of concern to all concerned”, Prince Uche Achi-Ogbaga, the publicity secretary of Ohanaeze said.
They should stop deceiving Nigerians — YCE
Also, Secretary General, Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, Dr Kunle Olajide disagreed with the president’s claim, arguing that the various reports of killings and attacks on the military had shown that Boko Haram Is waxing strong on daily basis.
Going forward, He urged the government and security agencies to change tactics and develop more pragmatic measures to combat the insurgents rather than trying to deceive Nigerians..
He called on security agencies in the southwest region to be vigilant as some suspected BokoHaram members have started infiltrating the region with a plan to cause mayhem.
They are miserly with the truth — Ojoye
On his part, a publisher, Prince Henry Ojoye, said: “They are miserly and niggardly with the truth because that statement is incoherent with the situation, as the nefarious and deadly activities of the group are still being experienced.
“To decimate means to wipe out, eliminate, annihilate, extinguish and eradicate. If they mean any of these, then they are not sincere with Nigerians.
“Boko Haram is even daily waxing strong on the groundthat many more Nigerians are still being killed or taken hostage. A pointer is a case of a member of the National Youth Service Corps who was taken hostage and is now a staunch member of the group. This is just one of the known cases as we hear they are constantly swelling their camp.
“I suspect President Buhari is being misinformed by the generals for saying Boko Haram has been decimated. If truly the generals have decimated the group, let them produce Leah Shuaibu and the rest to buttress their claim.
“Only a few weeks ago, Professor Zullum, the Governor of Borno State accused the Nigerian military of fanning the embers of the group because, according to him they know them. Consequently, he had to recruit some hunters to fight the state’s cause. The question therefore, is if the Nigerian Military had decimated them, would there have been any need for this?”
Buhari, Military not winning war against Boko Haram — Shettima Yerima
To the President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, the government has not decimated Boko Haram.
“No, they have not. If everything is put in place, if they have actually got it right in the last five years, nobody would have begin to think of self help. But because they have failed and that is what has brought about what we are witnessing today. It is sad and very unfortunate that the architecture is not put in place in the best interest of the people. People are no longer sleeping with their two eyes closed,” he said.
Buhari just encouraging himself — Salem
Hon Bamidele Salem, a member of the House of Representatives, said:
“It is unfortunate that the president will be giving that kind of impression. May be, he was only trying to encourage himself. I don’t know or he is being given a very wrong report by those who are saddled with the task of coordinating the fight against insurgency. The battle is far from being won. We need to really be realistic and put in all our efforts in trying to make it come to reality. I was shocked when I read that. And when you compare that with what the president said recently that he was surprised that Boko Haram was still existing, how do you reconcile these positions? And one week after that you said you have decimated Boko Haram, I really don’t understand.”
Polytechnic students give ultimatum over service Chiefs
Piqued by the poor security situation, the National Association of Polytechnic Students, NAPS, said its members would publicly protest unless President Buhari sacks the service chiefs as demanded by Nigerians.
The aggrieved students gave a “14-day-ultimatum within which to replace the nation’s service chiefs or face their wrath.”
The National President of the NAPS, Sunday Asuku, spoke at a press conference in Kaduna, yesterday.
He said the ultimatum became necessary in view of the deteriorating state of insecurity in the country which made the government look helpless.
Asuku added that the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards securing the lives and property of the citizenry was worrisome.
According to him, after the expiration of the ultimatum if nothing is done, the leadership of the association will be forced to mobilize the 21.8 million polytechnic students and other civil society groups to ground the defence headquarters.
Asuku said: “National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) is an umbrella body for all Polytechnics, Monotechnics, College of Technology and other allied institutions awarding National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) cut across the six (6) geo-political zones of the federation, with the membership strength of over 21.8 million armless batallion students schooling both at home and in diaspora.
“The leadership of NAPS sternly frown at the alarming Increase rate of insecurity in the country, despite the heavy security budget, security votes and numerous borrowing to acquire several facilities and gadgets by Federal Government of Nigeria it’s so disheartening that banditry, insurgence, kidnapping for ransom amongst others still hit citizens to their doorsteps.