The frequent upbraiding of the Service Chiefs by Northern elders concerning the protracted fight against terrorists in the North East, has been faulted by Patriotic and civil rights advocacy group; Emerging Leaders Forum of Nigeria (ELFON).
It asked the community leaders to play their own part in partnership with the armed forces of Nigeria so the counter terror war can come to a quick conclusion.
Making the charge ELFON applauded the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Yusuf Tukur Burutai, for doing so much with the little made available given the complexity involved in waging holistic war on terrorists that have global affiliation to the Middle East based Islamic States’ terror network that is awash with secret sponsorship dollars from their institutional and private supporters.
ELFON said in a statement issued in Owerri on Wednesday: “We hereby call on Northern leaders and elders to stop the well-oiled calculated and orchestrated campaign of calumny and desists from the “beer parlour” criticisms of the war on terror and return to their communities to show leadership examples to their wards and children.
“These members of the terror network seeking the destruction of modern day constitutional democracy in Nigeria are children and wards of these community elders who are now transferring their misdirected angst at the Service Chiefs.
“What the Northern elders need to do with all due respect, is to articulate position paper on practical measures to be adopted by them to dissuade and discourage their kith and kin from enlisting into the terror groups that are waging the war of attrition against the Nigerian state and the people of Nigeria.”
The Patriotic group said the Northern elders supported by the central and regional governments “should unfold and begin to implement community based-enlightenment crusades to redirect the brainwashed children and youths of the North East to accept the universal fact that their future development and aspirations can rapidly be attained in a united, democratic and prosperous sovereign Republic of Nigeria and not by any group of terror warriors because as long as we are concerned, we think what is critical is for all stakeholders to stop playing political pranks with the war on terror being waged by the Federal Government but to contribute our quota.”
ELFON also asked the Northern elders and indeed Nigerian elders to redirect their agitations towards the National and State Assemblies so good laws are immediately made and effectively implemented to create a harmonious relationship between traditional institutions, community based credible groups and the government in such a way that constitutional roles and responsibilities are created for the community leaders and traditional institutions to amongst others carry out grassroots mass enlightenment crusades and programmes to win the hearts and minds of the youths and the generality of the citizens.
“(This will) be focused towards social responsibility roles of building a strong, united, cohesive and prosperous Nigeria whereby there will be no much rooms for groups to embrace terrorism or armed struggles in their attempts to destabilise Nigeria,.” The Patriotic group said.
It said the frequent media propaganda against the hierarchy of the armed forces of Nigeria is not useful but amounts to political distraction.
What is needed now, the ELFON President; Godstime Chukwubuikem Samuel said, is the component of community participation in waging the counter terror measures to deal decisively with threats posed to the territorial integrity of Nigeria by Armed Islamic terrorists and other desperate armed non state actors.
We have flagged off the Project Unity Nigeria, a campaign platform for the promotion of Nigeria’s Unity.