The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Southern Leaders Forum yesterday took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari for blaming terrorism and insurgency Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin on fighters from Iraq and Syria.
Buhari has at separate times accused external forces for terrorism in Nigeria. But Wednesday’s reiteration at the United Nation’s General Assembly in New York drew criticisms with spokespersons of the groups saying the speech was a tacit acceptance of his administration’s inability to curb insecurity.
PANDEF said if Buhari was still blaming external terror groups for the insurgency in the northeast, then his competence as commander-in-chief deserved scrutiny.
Anabs Sara-Igbe, PANDEF’s spokesman and a security expert, noted that if after over three years of the Buhari administration, the immigration department was still unable to prevent illegal aliens from entering the country, then the president who appointed its commanders deserved blame.
“Who appoints the comptroller of immigration?
Who appoints the head of customs? If the navy and the army are unable to protect the country from external aggression, it is the fault of the president.
If Mr. President is telling the world he is incapable of protecting the lives of Nigerians, which he swore to do, then he should check himself,” he said.
According to Sara-Igbe, if good governance is entrenched and the country is restructured along the lines of true federalism, every part of the federating unit would have fended for itself by fortifying its local security.
He blamed the murderous nature of Boko Haram on the way security agencies treated the early phase of the conflict.
“It was the way they handled it that led us to this current crisis. Look at how they are handling Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky’s case.
If that man dies in prison, that will be another crisis. If a government does not see far, and judge the consequences of its action, then it is bound to run into trouble.”
He suggested the creation of a properly trained counter-terrorism force that would end the threat of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in the country.
Also, apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday accused the Federal Government of being economical with the truth about insurgency and terrorism in the country.
According to the group, persons creating insecurity in the country are from within.
It accused Buhari of always blaming outsiders to confuse the international community and attract sympathy over the failures of his government.