Gang-up against Senator Shettima from failed security quarters – Arewa group declares
…Arewa Group Protest politicization of security issues
By Hadiza Mohammed in Abuja
The Arewa Rapid Response Network (ARRN) has kicked against a gang up by people it describes as failed senior security chiefs to demonize and tar the former Borno state Governor Senator Kashim Shettima over his widely publicized stance both in the Senate and in the media against the glaring failure of security service chiefs, who all Nigerians from all walks of life are unanimous of their failure to stem the tide of insurgency in the North East and banditry and other forms of violent crimes all over the country.
The ARRN, a non-political pressure group based in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state said in a statement signed by its National Coordinator Alhaji Yakubu Ahmed-BK that the calculated and obnoxious media attacks launched against the person of Kashim Shettima are no doubt tied to his position on the unpopular retention of service chiefs whose failure to contain violent crimes despite the support they have been getting, since 2015 in terms of adequate resources, equipment and prayers from the federal government, all the state governments in the theatre of insurgency and banditry and Nigerians at large is unmistakably clear.
The Association noted that the position taken by Kashim Shettima, both in the Senate where he sponsored a resolution calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to dispense with the services of the security chiefs and in the media where he has been trenchant was nothing new but echoing the popular demand of almost all Nigerians who have become increasingly uncomfortable with the lack of any meaningful progress in the fight against violent crimes that have made all corners of Nigeria seemingly ungovernable due to the audacity of a group of rat tag gun men prowling the streets and bushes of the country making life hellish for everyone.
The Association recalled that a countless number of professional groups, trade unions, community development associations, student associations and religious leaders of all faith have, have at various times, come to the same position and are in fact insisting that retaining the service chiefs by President Buhari has not only inflame the violent crimes in the North East due to their leadership deficits and failures, but has completely demoralized the troops prosecuting different security operations across the country. In fact, the recent upsurge of anti-Buhari positions by even those who are, hitherto his diehard supporters, the ARRN remarked, is based on his rigid stance of keeping them in office despite the avalanche of opinions to the contrary by all Nigerians. Nigerians, ARRN stated, have never been so unanimous and agreeable than on the issue of sacking the service chiefs.
The unpopularity of the President in recent times, the Association further said, can be traced squarely on keeping faith with service chiefs whose failure has become legendary and the butt of jokes on the African continent and on the world stage.
The ARRN said it will amount to standing truth on its heads and a complete disservice to the fatherland for anybody, no matter what he or she stands to gain out of keeping non performing service chiefs in office, to take offense from the patriotic and courageous pro-Nigeria position as encapsulated by Kashim Shettima to the point of equating his stance as a coup against the very President who Kashim Shettima worked hard and tirelessly to install at a time it was very risky politically to do so.
The Association wondered where any of the service chiefs or their hangers on were when, since 2003 Buhari was almost a leprous loner who did all he could to advance his political pursuits to become President without success. Where were they when the battle to sell Buhari’s candidature raged on until Kashim Shettima and the dozens of relentless and tireless progressive foot-soldiers from all parts of the country succeeded in strategizing to eventually make Buhari electable? It recalled that it was people like Shettima and other progressive elements who, against political common sense mobilized their states, their people and their resources to fight in order to sustain and coordinate peoples’ support until he eventually got elected in 2015.
Kashim Shettima’s support for the President dated back to the days very few people were ready to touch him because it never looked like, at any point in his struggles, that he was going to make it, not even in 2015 when the so-called Buhari hurricane surprisingly and against all political permutations, got not just many unlikely people into top political positions, but gave Buhari himself the presidency. When the fight was on to achieve this, the so-called later-day Buhari converts including those who today are bandying all manner of ‘’laughable coup scares’’ in order to stampede and blackmail the President into retaining them in office, were, at best, on the sidelines waiting for the Buhari project to succeed so they could profit from it even when they were unworthy and undeserving of it as the facts are today showing, to the chagrin of the entire country and to a sad era of Nigeria’s worse form of insecurity ever.
The Arewa Rapid Response Network was unequivocal that there is no basis for comparison between the kind of development brought about during the eight years of Kashim Shettima stewardship in Borno and the stewardship of perfidy and the outright failure by a bunch of service chiefs who, instead of throwing in the towel on account of overstaying in office which is against the law or to just resign in response to a groundswell of call for such by the entire country, have chosen to, against sound reasons, stay put regardless of the fact that under their watch, Nigeria sinks further into the abyss and is looking like the country is surrendering to criminals.
The ARRN said it is adding its voice and is joining virtually the entire country to call on the President to, not just sack the service chiefs without further delay, but to cause a probe to be instituted into widespread allegations of corruption that have repeatedly been leveled that the billions of dollars that were appropriated to purchase state of the art armament and equipment as well as the billions earmarked for troop’s welfare have grossly been misappropriated. The way and manner the former Lafiya Dole Theatre Commander General Olusegun Adeniyi was dragged to a military tribunal on account of revealing the rot in the way the war against insurgency was being undermined through inadequate and substandard fighting equipment needs to also be revisited in order to stem the dangerous tide the country is sadly witnessing currently. Unless the country treads the path of encouraging officers to blow the whistle on undercurrent corrupt tendencies in the prosecution of the war, the truth of the matter which will help right wrongs and ultimately overwhelm criminals will continue to elude the Nigerian leadership and the country will be the worse for it.
“The ARRN therefore condemn, in strongest terms, the attempt by enemies of the country to deviate attention from their failure and shift attention to a pan-Nigerian message which was just re-echoed by Senator Kashim Shettima.