Saturday, 08 February 2020 05:45

Decimation of Boko Haram: Northern leaders disagree with Buhari

Commend INEC on de-registeration of 74 political parties

Contrary to the presidential submission that Boko Haram has been decimated, two prominent Nigerians have rather stated that insurgency was on the rise.

It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari while commissioning two Nigeria Air Force Agusta 109 Power Helicopters and MI-17 E Helicopters at the Eagle Square, Abuja on Thursday remarked that the dreaded group had been decimated.

He said: “I promised to put an end to Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping and other forms of criminality that have bedevilled our country during my inaugural speech as President.

“You will all agree with me that the successes we have achieved so far have restored our pride and honour the world over. Consequently, I want to sincerely thank Nigerians for believing in our government, in spite occasional outrages, coming together as a nation, irrespective of political, religious and ethnic affiliations, in our strive to bring this menace to an end.

“I want to, once again, salute the resolve of our Armed Forces and the invaluable contributions of all security agencies for their efforts towards the decimation of Boko Haram.”

His position was also corroborated by the Chief of Air Staff, Sadiq Abubakar who hosted the event.

Buhari’s self-glory is, however, coming barely a week after he had expressed surprise on the rise of the insurgency in the country.

Reacting to the comments, the two prominent Nigerians, Hon. Bamidele Salem, representing Ede North, South/Egbedero/Ejigbo Federal Constituency of Osun State in the House of Representatives and the President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alhaji Shetima Yerima countered the President, saying the fight against insurgency was far from being won.

Both men who spoke to Vanguard on Friday in Abuja also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC for taking the courage to deregister 74 dormant political parties, saying it was in tandem with the extant laws of the land.

Salem in his view said that it was surprising that President Buhari who only a week ago expressed shock on the rate of crimes and insecurity could in quick succession say he had won the war against Boko Haram.

Salem said: “On the issue of Boko Haram, it is unfortunate that the president will be giving that kind of impression. Maybe, 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, so how do you reconcile these positions? And one week after that you said you have decimated Boko Haram, I really don’t understand.”

The federal lawmaker also stated that INEC was right in showing 74 political parties the way out of politics, stressing that most of the parties, prior to now, existed only on papers.

“On the deregistration of political parties, yes, I support that move. It is in compliance with the provisions of the Nigerian constitution as amended and it will actually save us a lot of stress and a lot of costs. If you look at what it takes INEC to conduct elections as a result of this multiplicity of political parties most of which only exist in name and on paper, there is no point. I strongly believe that we can make do with 10 or less political parties in Nigeria. So, I support that move by INEC to enforce the provision of the constitution”, he said.

For the President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima, neither President nor the military was winning the war against Boko Haram.

“No, they have not. If everything is put in place, if they have actually got it right in the last 5 years as we are today, ordinarily nobody would have begun 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.

Also, on the deregistering of 74 Political Party by INEC, Yerima said that those behind the parties were only political merchants, endorsing other patties’ presidential candidates for monetary gains.

“It is better to deregister most of them because they are not productive. You cannot form a political party that cannot produce even ordinary councillor in the entire 774 LGA and you call yourself a political party. Some of them are there for strictly business and that is why it is easy for them when they sit down, they will just wake up and say they have endorsed the candidate of this or that party meanwhile they don’t even have followers not even membership.

“All they do is to hold their offices in their briefcases and go about collecting money everywhere. For me I totally agree with it. Let us have viable parties even if it is just two parties. I agree with it completely. Let us know. It is either you are for the left or right than having several political parties that are not productive, those that are productive are the ones left today”, he said.




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