The Arewa Citizens Action for Transformation (ACAT) has questioned Dr Usman Bugaje’s sudden interest in national security, particularly at a time the Nigerian military is making giant strides.
Mr Bugaje, an ex-political adviser to former Vice-president Atiku Abubakar, under the aegis of Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP) will hold a two-day conference on the security situation in the north.
ACAT, a leading voice in the north on security issues, has frowned at this proposed summit, inferring that Bugaje’s motive is purely to “ to cast aspersions” on the integrity of the current military leadership and to bring the entire institution to ridicule.
In a press conference on Tuesday, while welcoming brainstorming discuss on pressing security issues, Coordinator Comrade Audu Aboki downplayed Bugaje’s conference as “nothing new will come out”, especially as it focuses on physical security issues.
Instead of playing the critic card, ACAT, however, advised the group to join other Nigerians in encouraging the gallant troops on the frontline.
“ It is good to note that groups like the ARDP call intending to call a meeting of northern elders to discuss the security situation in the country as late as in the third quarter of 2019 when the federal and state governments have been at it for more decades. Well, as they say, it is better late than never.
“ But while the situation calls for concern as security is a recurrent issue, it is mischievous to use alternative facts to support dubious claims.
“ While it may be true that security is perhaps today the biggest single issue that faces the nation, it is incorrect to say that the security situation in Nigeria has continued to worsen and is about to ground the whole country.
“ Besides, it is also most uncharitable for any individual or organisation within the country to claim that insurgency has sapped the human and material resources of the Federal and State governments to the extent that both levels of government are exasperated.
“ To the best of our knowledge, the federal government has in the last four years walked the talk about its resolve to tackle the security issues in the country and has achieved quite a lot in that respect while showing no sign of despondency.
“ Within the period the current administration has been in place, more weapons have been secured and deployed for use by the security agencies while the ones previously seized from the weaponry by the terrorists have been destroyed rendering them incapacitated for a long period of time.
“ We are pained to recollect the gory past, but let us remind the ARDP that there was a time in this country when the Eagle Square, police headquarters and the UN building were bombed in broad daylight in brazen disregard to the security network and political authority in the country then.
“ All these have become history due to the efforts of the current military. Inaccurate comparisons like the ones done by the ARDP come not only as counterintuitive to the collective interest of the nation but questions the credibility of whoever is making it.
“ The focus for any citizen with a sense of patriotism should be on encouraging
“As we commend the sudden interest of the ARDP on security matters, we wish to inform the organisation that long before now, the Nigerian armed forces especially under the current administration has not spared any effort to turn the situation around and has succeeded very much in doing so.
“ That is why the President has made the issue of security one of the cardinal points of his administration.
“ The ARDP can call for a meeting on any issue that suits its fancy but it is wrong to use the military as its whipping boy.
“ Suffice it to say that the idea of a meeting on security is a good one but nothing new will come out of it as discussion on security that focuses on physical security agencies is just wasting time.”