From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

The Middle Belt Forum (MBF), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to put an end to banditary and immediately restore peace and prosperity in communities ravaged by years of killings and insecurity.

The forum particularly made reference to ethnic nationalities, of the middle belt, who suffered severe and persistent attacks from marauding gangs of murderous herdsmen whose agenda has always been to exterminate our people.

In a statement released on Sunday by its National President, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, the forum noted :

“These killings have become the trend in many parts of the Middle Belt Region of Southern Kaduna, Niger, Plateau, Benue, Adamawa, among others.”

MBF further referred to the recent in many states of the region including Nasarawa state where no fewer than 45 people were gruesomely massacred by coldblooded killer herdsmen.

Meanwhile, the group has condemned the recent decision by the Bauchi State government to relocate the headquarters of Tafawa Balewa local government to Bununu town and called on the National Assembly to correct what it described as a charade.

The statement reads in part; “In Damboa Local Government Area of Southern Borno, Boko Haram elements have completely taken over the LGA in the past three years without any challenge from the security personnel. It is from Damboa LGA that Boko Haram launches attacks on communities, including the recent attack that killed a military general. Allowing the terrorist organisation to mount roadblocks in any part of Nigeria amounts to telling the world that there are two sovereignties in Nigeria.

In the New Year, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to send a clear message to the security forces to defeat Boko Haram and throw them out of Damboa LGA. The destruction of our communities and the unprovoked killings of defenceless citizens can no longer be tolerated. When innocent and vulnerable people are left unprotected from the terror of criminals, there can be no option left than self-defence. The Forum calls on relevant security agencies not to relent in cleansing our communities of these terrorists who take pleasure in kidnapping, destroying our communities and dislocating our people. The continuous wielding of arms by these criminals in daylight to intimidate locals must be stopped in order to protect our communities and not force then to embrace self-defence.

Closely tied to the horrendous attacks on our communities and the resultant displacement, with farmers abandoning farms in protecting their lives, is the problem of food security. We do not need a prophet to warn us of the dire consequences of what this massive displacement of our farming population holds for our people. In the face of these severe attacks that have not attracted commensurate responses from the security personnel, we call on security agencies to smoke out these murderous bandits from their holes and bring them to justice. As an umbrella organisation of ethnic nationalities in the Middle Belt Region, we call on President Buhari to swiftly order the security agencies to stop the human carnage ripping across Nigeria, especially in the Middle Belt.

We also call the attention of the National Assembly to the charade going on in Bauchi State where a court recently dismissed a suit challenging the state lawmakers’ decision to relocate the headquarters of Tafawa Balewa local government to Bununu town. Without any doubt, the court’s verdict and the state lawmakers’ decision violate the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution that confer such powers on only members of the National Assembly. We call on the leadership of the National Assembly to wade into the matter and order an immediate reversal to forestall the breakdown of law and order.

With Nigeria marching to another national election year, the Forum calls on President Buhari to rescind his earlier decision not to sign the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill. The best this administration can offer Nigerians is to provide a platform where the votes of citizens count. Strengthening the electoral process for transparent polls should be an irrevocable focus of the present administration. No effort should be spared by the President to contain destructive forces lurking in the dark and plotting anarchy for the country ahead of the 2023 polls.

Nigerians, no doubt, faced challenges in 2021. We call on President Buhari to ensure that no stone is left unturned to ensure peace and prosperity for our besieged communities. We join millions of our citizens in praying for the return of peace and prosperity to our Nation.

The post New Year: Restore peace in the middle belt now – MBF tells Buhari appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

Source: news