• No third term agenda, elections will hold – President
• N’Assembly tired of observing a minute silence for casualties, says Lawan
• Umahi laments killing of Ebonyi indigenes in Benue
• A word from Buhari to killer herders will stop violence – Benue dep gov
Amid the outbreak of violence and rising calls for secession from agitators in the South, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, issued a stern warning to those promoting crime and insurrection in the country, saying that his administration will treat them in the language they understand and they will soon receive the shock of their lives.
Speaking after he received a briefing from the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, on series of attacks on facilities of the electoral body around the country, President Buhari said the Federal Government has given the perpetrators enough time and was now ready to act.
While noting that those misbehaving in certain parts of the country were obviously too young to know the travails and loss of lives that attended the Nigerian Civil War, he said: “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand. We are going to be very hard sooner than later.
“I receive daily security reports on the attacks, and it is very clear that those behind them want this administration to fail. These attacks are totally unacceptable, and we will not allow those behind them to achieve their evil objectives,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.
The President said the Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police have been changed, “and we will demand security from them.
“Insecurity in Nigeria is now mentioned all over the world. All the people who want power, whoever they are, you wonder what they really want. Whoever wants the destruction of the system will soon have the shock of his live. We have given them enough time.”
While recalling that he visited all the 36 states of the country before the 2019 general elections, Buhari said: “Majority of the people believed me, and the election proved it.”
On the dangers posed to future elections by the burning of INEC facilities, President Buhari said he would give the electoral commission all it needed to operate, “so that no one would say we don’t want to go, or that we want a third term. There will be no excuse for failure. We will meet all INEC’s demands.”
On his part, the INEC Chairman said so far, there have been 42 cases of attacks on INEC offices nationwide since the 2019 general elections. In the last four weeks, 11 INEC offices have been either set ablaze or vandalised, especially in the Southeastern part of the country, with 13 vehicles and 429 generating sets destroyed. Scores of police stations have also been burnt by the daring gunmen.
He said: “The 42 incidents so far occurred in 14 states for a variety of reasons. Most of the attacks happened in the last seven months, and they are unrelated to protest against previous elections.
“From the pattern and frequency of the most recent attacks, they appear to be targeted at future elections. The intention is to incapacitate the Commission, undermine the nation’s democracy and precipitate a national crisis. ”
THE Senate, yesterday, expressed concern over the spate of one minute silence usually observed at its plenary as a result of deaths associated with security challenges in the country. This is just as the upper chamber at Tuesday’s plenary observed one minute silence six times for those who lost their lives through killings and murders last week.
President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, who made this observation during plenary, however, stressed the need for the National Assembly to increase its legislative interventions towards ensuring adequate security of life and property in the country.
Speaking during plenary, Lawan said: “Let me say that we have observed about six one-minute silences and most of it was to pray for the repose of the souls of Nigerians who were murdered or killed by criminals. It is very important that we step up our legislative intervention in ensuring that we protect the lives and properties of Nigerians to reduce the incidence of one-minute silence.”
MEANWHILE, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has described the recent killing of Ebonyi and Benue indigenes by herdsmen at the border between both states as a wicked and satanic act.
He spoke, yesterday, when he visited victims of the attack at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital (AEFUTHA).
More than 30 persons have been killed in the attacks, which occurred at the weekend, although locals said the death toll is more than 50. The governor said he could not understand the raping of little children by the killer herdsmen.
“What I saw this afternoon is nothing but an act of wickedness and Satanism. I do not know for any reason why people should be raping two-year-old children, putting knives on one-year-old children, killing mothers and fathers, for what reason!”
Umahi also urged the people of Benue to form their own vigilante to secure themselves and stop blaming President Buhari. He vowed to assist the communities in Benue with a large concentration of Ebonyi indigenous people to set up their own security outfit similar to Ebube Agu, to enable them to protect themselves.
But the Benue State Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, has said one word from President Buhari to killer herders will go a long way in ending incessant killings. According to him, some drastic steps needed to be taken to put an end to killings by some herders, and Fulani leaders need to speak up against the attacks by herders on communities.
The Deputy governor said this yesterday during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.
“One very simple but effective response is that – a word from the President of this country condemning what is going on and asking the Fulanis to stop these terrible actions of theirs. I believe this will go a very long way,” he said.
He explained further that he has reached out to the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Abubakar, and Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu Aliyu, on the need to address the situation. Abounu lamented that the body language of Fulani leaders has contributed to the atrocities committed by herders in Nigeria.
The deputy governor added that Nigeria’s security situation has got worse and the President needs to address the country, rather than issue press statements through media aides.
“Garba Shehu is not the President of the country, he is only an appointee. I think we have reached the stage when the President needs to come out and address this country.”