Arewa youths, Ohanaeze, Afenifere, CACOL, others reject Buhari’s re-election bid
Niyi Odebode, Adelani Adepegba, Ihuoma Chiedozie, Olaleye Aluko and Olaide Oyelude
Organisations, including the Arewa Youth Forum, comprising of northern youths; the Campaign for Democracy; and the Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria, have kicked against President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term re-election bid.
The groups, in separate interviews with Saturday PUNCH, hinged their rejection of Buhari’s second term bid on the incessant killings in the country, particularly by Fulani herdsmen.
They said that the clamour for second term, amidst attacks by herdsmen and fuel scarcity in the country, was a demonstration of the insensitivity of the President and his aides.
Several chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, including Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, have expressed their support for the President’s re-election.
On Wednesday, Buhari was reported to have appointed the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, as the Director-General of his 2019 election campaign.
Also, the Minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, after a meeting with the President on Wednesday said Buhari must seek re-election in 2019.
Buhari himself, twice last year, hinted that he would seek re-election in 2019. He gave the hint in Cote d’Ivoire during a summit on counter-terrorism and also during his recent visit to Kano State.
But the Arewa Youth Forum, in a statement on Friday, insisted that those clamouring for Buhari’s re-election were being hasty and insensitive to the plight of Nigerians.
The AYF’s statement was signed by its National President, Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, in Katsina, Katsina State.
It stated, “The umbrella organisation of all youths in the north, Arewa Youth Forum, after a cursory look at the polity and events of the recent past, has decided to react to some of the issues with a view to putting our imprint and thoughts on national discuss.
“Arewa Youth Forum is worried about the mindless killings all over the country, especially those in Benue, Kaduna, Kwara and Rivers states; also that this carnage is taking place in the New Year. Our thoughts are with those affected.
“We are even more amazed that this is coming shortly after the tenure extension of the service chiefs. As such, it calls for serious concern. Is this the good work that the President extended their tenure for? It is time for them to justify their continuous stay in office or give way for those who can bring out a security architecture that can protect Nigerians.
“We are also worried that Nigerians had to go through the Yuletide with agony and pains because of fuel scarcity, which still persists in the New Year, with the Federal Government not having a definite road map to end the malaise.”
It said that Nigerians were going through the hardship because of the actions and inaction of politicians and the elite who had not done enough to assuage the plight of the ordinary Nigerians.
The AYF stated, “If you add these challenges to the corruption allegations that have plagued some top ranking officers of this administration, the inability of Mr. President to address same leaves a sour taste in the mouth of many Nigerians.
“Consequently, we are appalled to hear that in the midst of all these, the President and his men have already put in place measures to start his re-election bid for 2019.
“As the apex body of youths in the 19 northern states and Abuja, with affiliates across the country, we see the re-election bid of Mr. President at this point in time as inhuman, uncalled for and an insult to the sensibilities of the suffering Nigerian masses.
“On the magnitude of the killings, we expect the President to visit some of the states and when he came to Kaduna, he should have condoled with the people or even visited the area.
“It was disheartening that when the President visited Kaduna State, black marketeers were having a field day as many of the stations were closed and the people were buying fuel at over N350 per litre. This we believe is not good enough.
“Nigerians expect a more purposeful leadership from the champion of change than this anarchy in the land and the time to act is now, Mr. President.”
2019 will be disastrous for APC —Afenifere
The pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, on its part, warned that the killings across the country by Fulani herdsmen and other armed groups could affect the electoral chances of the ruling APC in the 2019 polls.
It admonished the President to address the nation on the issue and take decisive measures to stop the wanton killings and violent attacks across the country.
Afenifere spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin, insisted that the President could not pretend that all was well with the country while murderous attacks were carried out by criminal elements daily.
“Definitely, they (herdsmen killings) will have grave implications for the APC in 2019 if the killings continue,” he stated on Friday.
“The President should address the nation on this matter and for a man that is seeking a second term in office, he cannot pretend that nothing is happening.
“It would be disastrous for the APC as a party if the killings are not stopped, if murderers are not brought to book.
“Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, once said that he had to pay money to Fulani herdsmen to stop killings in Kaduna.
“About two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Government paid €3m to Boko Haram and they have not denied it. We want categorical actions taken against the killings going on across the country. It’s becoming unbearable.”
Buhari has betrayed confidence reposed in him —CAN
Also, the Christian Association of Nigeria called on the Federal Government to stop the “continuous inhuman and wicked activities of the Fulani herdsmen all over the federation.”
The association stated that the wanton killings by the murderous group could lead to a civil war, noting that the patience of the people was approaching the breaking point.
“They (Fulani herdsmen) have killed more people than the Boko Haram sect and almost displaced more people than them. We are now reaching a breaking point in our patience and toleration of this wicked impunity before degenerating to a civil war,” a statement by CAN President, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, stated.
He noted that the government had not shown willingness to check the rampaging herdsmen, describing this as a betrayal of the confidence Nigerians had in the Buhari administration.
By failing to protect Nigerians from Fulani herdsmen attacks, the CAN leader said the government had failed to uphold the constitution which it swore to uphold.
Ayokunle said, “While the government has taken the battle to Boko Haram terrorists, the Indigenous People of Biafra, the Badoo boys, the Niger Delta Avengers and other groups, the government has not shown any serious willingness to check the murderous Fulani herdsmen. This to us is a betrayal of the confidence reposed in this government by Nigerians when they voted it into power.”
CAN demanded to know why the intelligence and security apparatus had failed to discover the sources of firearms used by the herdsmen, noting that the Nigeria Customs Service and the Immigration Service had a case to answer.
“Who are the suppliers of these weapons? If the murderous herdsmen are foreigners, as it is being claimed in some quarters, why did we allow dangerous foreigners into our country to come and kill us? Our government has a case to answer too,” the group insisted.
It urged the government and the security agencies to rise up to their responsibilities by addressing the senseless attacks.
The religious body appealed to the international community for assistance and urged all churches to set aside time on Sunday, January 7, to pray for Nigeria and “for victory over the wicked killings by Fulani herdsmen.”
Don’t expect re-election in 2019, YOWICAN tells Buhari
Also, the Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria, said that the President should not waste his time and “his already exhausted energy” to seek re-election in 2019.
The YOWICAN National President, Daniel Kadzai, said that Buhari had “no moral right to contest again, considering the fact that he has proven to Nigerians that he is a religious leader of the Muslim faith and not the President of the country.”
Kadzai in a statement pointed out that Buhari’s New Year’s Day’s broadcast clearly proved to Christians in Nigeria that they were not safe under his administration.
He said, “When 18 Muslims were killed in a reprisal in Taraba State, the Presidency was relocated to the state, with the military and police headquarters hunting for the attackers, but when over 40 Christians were killed in Plateau State, the President travelled out of the country, three days after the attack.”
No sane person will vote for a govt that can’t secure lives —Ohanaeze
Also, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, said the President’s failure to check the menace of the herdsmen would affect his chances for re-election in 2019.
Achi-Okpaga, who spoke to one of our correspondents in Enugu, said that “no sane person would vote for a government that was not able to secure the lives of its citizens.”
The Ohanaeze spokesperson noted that it was strange that the country’s security agencies, which he described the “best in Africa”, had not been able to deal with the herdsmen.
Achi-Okpaga said, “The spate of blatant and inconceivable killings of helpless Nigerians by the Fulani herdsmen have been so alarming and uncontrollable. I have no doubt that the studied silence of the Federal Government is deliberate. No sane person will risk to vote for a government that has conspicuously displayed irresponsibility to the security of her citizens.
“Apart from the killings at Nsukka and Awgu (Enugu State), the people of Benue, in general, have been severally and severely killed in tens and hundreds without the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, making a national broadcast or giving a specific instruction on the matter even when the treasury of Nigeria was depleted to give him adequate medical attention to save his own life.”
Buhari’s second term bid despite killings unfortunate —CSOs
Two civil society organisations, CD and CACOL, said the Buhari-led Federal Government did not deserve to continue in office unless it addressed the “incessant killings by herdsmen” in Benue State.
The CD President, Usman Abdul, said it was unfortunate that the President would start clamouring for a second term when some states were still experiencing gross insecurity.
Abdul said, “On the issue of the President’s second term bid, it is rather unfortunate when good governance has not been enjoyed by the citizens of this country and one is thinking of a second term. The President is even said to have appointed a director for his campaign organisation; this is unfortunate at this period.”
Also, the CACOL Director, Debo Adeniran, said, “The Benue incident is a case requiring a lot of intelligence gathering. What it means is that both the federal and state governments must be held accountable. The people are the ones suffering this jeopardy.” Source: Punch