Blame military not Kukah–Northern Elders Forum

Blame military not Kukah–Northern Elders Forum, The Northern Elders Forum, on Monday, said contrary to the presidency’s assertion on Sunday, the delayed delivery of military equipment from the United States Government to Nigeria was a result of the military’s conduct and not the doing of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah.

The elders said rather than blame a clergyman for military setbacks, the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.),  should upgrade military’s operations to a standard that satisfies globally accepted norms.

The forum’s Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said these in a television interview on Monday.

Responding to a statement on Sunday in which the presidency blamed Kukah for selling a false image about the country’s interreligious relations leading to a delayed supply of fighter jets, Baba-Ahmed said the regime must learn to handle criticism.

He said, “The presidency’s spokespersons have a way of deflecting criticism by making it personal. When you say that there is a shortfall in the quality of government, they find something to stick you with.

“People like Bishop Kukah and I, are used to this. We don’t take it seriously. This organisation should be criticised and must be criticised, and those who are ready to do so should be willing to take some of the words that Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina recycle every once in a while when we point out certain facts about the failings of President in terms of securing the country.

Blame military not Kukah–Northern Elders Forum

“But the truth is, maybe they know this, maybe they don’t know, Nigerian Government has problems procuring weaponry from Western countries, because these countries, in most cases, have standards regarding conduct by their armed forces and related agencies, in terms of dealing on human rights issues, dealing with prisoners of war, dealing with populations caught up in conflicts.

Everybody knows this. They will not sell you one bullet unless they are satisfied that you’ve met certain criteria. And they have raised issues over and over again. The Nigerian government knows this. But they need to improve the conduct of the Nigerian military, in the fight against the insurgency, against terrorists.”

Harping on an earlier call by the forum for Buhari to resign over the spate of insecurity in the country, he said “We must not go to the 2023 elections with the current state of insecurity or a worse state of insecurity, not just because of the elections, but because the life is getting worse by the day and it’s time to reverse this trend.

“We should raise our voices and demand that the people we voted into office, the President, the National Assembly, governors, they must do better. We can’t live like rats hiding in holes and running away every year from criminals.

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