Former military governor of Kaduna State, Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (ret), has accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s government of exhibiting poor skills in managing the diversity in the country.
In a statement, yesterday, entitled, ‘‘Nigeria: A nation challenged,’’ he said it was quite strange and disturbing that the Federal Government was according undue attention to the threats of separatist movements in contrast to the more daunting ones posed by bandits, kidnappers and insurgents in the Northwest, some parts of North Central and Northeast.
The former governor, who is also the leader of Movement for Unity and Progress (MUP), a civil rights group, said the arrest and prosecution of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, is not Nigeria’s problem, rather “the inability of government to put an end to insurgency, banditry and kidnapping, while injustice, lack of equity and fairness is giving rise to the agitation by separatist groups in the country.’’
The former Governor called on President Buhari to exhibit the traits of uniting all the component parts of Nigeria together, instead of dividing the country, and subsequently, leading it to disintegration.
Recall that the respected critic had in an open letter dated May 30, 2020, warned the President that his knack for appointing people from his section of the country will ruin Nigeria.
Umar is renowned for opposing the annulment of the June 12 election in 1993 by the government in which he served. He was military governor of Kaduna between 1985 and 1988 under the regime of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.
In his statement, Umar said: “The recent re-arrest of the IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was greeted with a loud sigh of relief and celebration in some sections of the country. It also elicited congratulatory messages to the Federal Government, which appears overwhelmed by the intractable security challenges and in dire need of any redeeming act.
“Activities of those criminals have resulted in the evacuation of over 20 per cent of the villages in Northwest and Northeast. Hundreds are being murdered and maimed every week. Many more are kidnapped for ransom. Millions have been rendered internally displaced, facing disease and starvation. Over one thousand schoolchildren were abducted in the past eight months with over 300 still in the hands of the bandits and kidnappers demanding humongous ransom payments. Rape of women and young girls has become a daily occurrence.
“Most economic activities, particularly farming, which is the mainstay of the people in these areas, are now all but impossible. Government’s earlier claim of having technically defeated the Boko Haram insurgency has turned out to be empty propaganda. Contrary to this claim, the enemy has morphed into a more determined and deadly force, threatening to overrun the whole of the NE. “Government must massively increase security manpower and equipment. As we have seen, a mere change of service chiefs would appear far from being the solution.”