The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) says the Buhari administration has “failed totally” in protecting lives and properties and is convening a security review to consider “regulated self-protection”.
It comes after the recent killings of dozens of rice farmers in Zabarmari.
Reactions by Buhari aides and cabinet members in the wake of the killings have sparked outrage.
Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said the slain farmers did not get military clearance to go out onto the fields, information minister Lai Mohammed called it the result of politicking and Chief of Army Staff Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai said the insecurity challenges could extend another 20 years.
CNG called the remarks “callous and insensitive, unacceptable and condemnable”.
“We demand all northerners to dwell on state governors and the federal government to see that our security architecture is reframed and reorganized in ways that will bring an end to the incessant banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and other vices that are dragging the region into socio-economic abyss,” the CNG said in a statement signed by its spokesperson Abdul-Azeez Suleiman.
“We demand a thorough review and interrogation of the commercialization of these conflicts by different actors, up and down the ranks and constituencies, defence corruption, as well as the persistent attitude of touting success in the face of failure.”
The group said the realization that leaders have become a liability has increased “conviction that the only remaining option is for the people to mobilise for a regulated self protection.
“In the light of the current general and pervasive insecurity being felt across the North with regularity of attacks, killings, kidnapping, insurgency, highway robberies and the sacking of entire communities and the realization that leaders such as the ones we have, who cannot be advised or criticized, are a liability, have increased our conviction that the only remaining option is for the people to mobilize for a regulated self protection.’
The security review scheduled for December 14 and 15 in Kaduna draws representation from security experts, traditional and religious groups, civil society, business community, government, trade, youth and women association from each of the 19 northern states.
The review will seek:
- Comprehensive synergy between states for uniform action as against the against isolated responses that have proved ineffective.
- Mobilization of broadbased community action.
- Improvement of security/ community cooperation in especially information sharing imperatives.
CNG points to the start of ISIS invasion into Kurd region of Iraq, the Kurdish Peshmerga “did not just surrender their hope and destiny to the Iraqi forces”.
“Instead they composed regimented and volunteer forces, fully funded and backed by their regional authorities” to fight back.
“This can as well be successfully replicated in the North if all citizens cooperate to raise sufficient funds through individual donations, and mobilize the youth for coordinated action to achieve full cessation of hostilities, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration,” the group said.