Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) says for the 2023 general elections to hold successfully, Nigerian government must intensify efforts to curb the general and pervasive insecurity across the country as well as the rampant intake of drugs and dangerous substances.
Making the remarks, CNG spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said the general expectation was that government would bring a conclusive end to the daunting security challenges that characterised the year gone.
Suleiman said, “In the North, especially, government, should, with the entire national resolve behind its efforts, work to achieve final disengagement, disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and reconstruction within the next few months. Unless this is done as quickly as possible, the 2023 elections would be greatly threatened and that would, in turn, affect the nation’s democratic progress and set the country back several decades.
“It is expected also that the Federal Government would review and improve the current structure of the national security assets, increase number of boots on ground, improve quality of equipment and greater synergy with the communities.”
The CNG said state governments in the North must get off their high horse, listen to advice and design a uniform approach to the situation with the full involvement of the communities.
CNG also warned that the drug situation in the North is one of the most serious social and security challenges facing Nigeria today.
He added, “The fact that the problem is insidious and not readily apparent is the more reason why it should be seen as an existential matter that needs to be addressed and tackled robustly and defeated once for all.
“No nation can aspire to greatness or seek to remain secure and safe when its youth and the productive segments of society are left to indulge in self-destructive practices like drug and substance abuse.
“Serious challenges such as the ones we are faced with ought not to be treated with the level of levity and condescension shown by the governors of the affected northern states; neither should they be seen as affecting only one region or state or, for that matter, one ethnic group or the other. On the contrary, such challenges are cross-national issues that affect every one of us regardless of where we live or come from.”
For this reason, Suleiman said, the security problem must be confronted collectively with the entire will and resolve of the people behind the effort if we are to build on the current successes by our gallant troops in the North East and more recently in the endangered communities and forests of northern Nigeria.
The CNG spokesman further said, “Failure to do so will indubitably mean that every effort made in isolation will defeat all the endeavours, and render the task of ending the crisis. the more difficult and futile.
“Every one of us must, therefore, become a stakeholder and a committed actor in this struggle to free our society and our country of this debilitating problem.”