A former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega; and a former Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, have told President Muhammadu Buhari that Nigerians are suffering.
In a statement issued, Jega and Onaiyekan blamed the suffering on the COVID-19 pandemic and insecurity in the country.
They advised the president to sack the service chiefs if that’s what will be needed to solvethe problem of insecurity in the country.
The statement was signed by members of the Nigeria Working Group on Peace-building and Governance which include, Jega, Onaiyekan, Gen. Martin Agwai, Amb. Fatima Balla, Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim, Mrs. Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, Dr. Nguyan Feese, Dr. Usman Bugaje and Dr. Chris Kwaja.
The statement read in part, “Nigeria, like the rest of the world is battling the coronavirus pandemic. However, citizens in Nigeria are facing double the suffering because they also have to contend with rising insecurity and violence across the country.
“The Nigerian government must immediately address the rising insecurity, if it is to succeed in the fight against the pandemic. A recent USIP-commissioned survey in Nigeria found new linkages between COVID-19, instability, and conflict.
“In particular, the survey found that victims of recent violence are less likely to trust the government’s coronavirus response measures compared to those who have not experienced violence.
The statement added, “Kidnapping for ransom is an acute concern across Nigeria. The North-East is witnessing resurgence in Boko Haram activity, and thousands of people are internally displaced by banditry across rural communities in the North-West.
“Criminality in rural areas further complicates the situation by undermining food security, as many farmers have been unable to go to their farms for months for fear of losing their lives,” the group said.