President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has so far outdone his predecessor in the fight against insurgency and criminal elements in the country, a group of elder statesmen led by Third Republic Senate President, Ameh Ebute has said.
This was contained in a communique released at the end of a joint meeting of the Council of Elder Statesmen and Patriotic Elders Council of Nigeria on the state of affairs of the nation under President Buhari on Monday and Tuesday in Abuja.
The group said its emergency meeting became imperative to put issues in proper perspectives in the light of the various conflicting narratives in the public domain capable of setting the country on a path of destruction and disintegration.
Recall that Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State had similarly rated President Buhari above his predecessors in handling state’s security challenges.
Mr Zulum said he based his verdict on the statewide security records on the 27 local government areas since 2011.
And in a communique signed by Senator Ebute and 20 other notable Nigerians, the elder statesmen, after almost 48-hour long deliberation, concluded that President Buhari has demonstrated an unalloyed commitment towards winning the war against terrorism and other acts of criminalities in the country.
The group also hailed the president’s dedication towards setting Nigeria on the path to sustainable growth and development through laudable interventions in critical sectors of the economy as enumerated above.
The council of elders equally saluted the Service Chiefs for their patriotism in the face of conspiracy and campaign of calumny.
The group, however, called on all well-meaning Nigerians regardless of religious and ethnic affiliations to extend support to the present administration by proffering solutions to the challenges in different sectors of the country.
It added that all hands must be on deck in the journey of sustainable growth and development in the country.
Read full communique below:
The Council of Elder Statesmen and Patriotic Elders Council of Nigeria convoked a joint emergency general meeting in the appraisal of the State of the Nation under President Muhammadu Buhari in critical sectors of the country such as the economy and security in the face of the global economic meltdown occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.
This became imperative in an attempt to put issues in proper perspectives in the light of the various conflicting narratives in the public domain that are in most instances highly misleading and capable of setting the country on a path on destruction and disintegration.
The Council of Patriotic Elder statesmen and Patriotic Elders Council of Nigeria during its joint meeting deliberated extensively on the State of the Nation with regards to the efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari led administration in addressing the various challenges in the country.
Considerable time and efforts were also channelled towards x-raying the intervention of government during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown, which has in ways too numerous to mention impacted positively on the lives of ordinary Nigerians. There were also extensive deliberations on the security situations in the country with regards to the efforts of the various security agencies in addressing the threat posed by terrorist and militant groups.
The State of the Economy and Impact of COVID 19:
In a bid to curtail the further spread of the Coronavirus, deliberate actions were instituted to ensure that citizens of Nigeria stayed safe. Consequently, the government imposed a nationwide lockdown in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization. This was also cognizant of the fact that a lockdown came with its attendant socio-economic implications which were felt across the globe.
After extensive deliberations, it was unanimously agreed that the handling of the Coronavirus pandemic by the government has been quite impressive. The various initiatives introduced and implemented by the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development through the distribution of palliatives to the vulnerable groups across the country were timely and made a positive impact in the lives of ordinary citizens across the country.
The consensus was that the efforts of the government have been outstanding but for the actions of some state governors who in their wisdom elected to store the palliatives in warehouses instead of distributing same to the people to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The joint council condemns such disposition by some state governors which by all intent and purposes is a great disservice to the efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in mitigating the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the lives of the ordinary citizens in the country.
The current state of the economy:
The Joint Council admits that Nigeria is in recession alongside other countries which is as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. It was also identified that the actions of successive governments in Nigeria in failing to save for the rainy days especially when crude oil sold for a higher price in the global market is somewhat responsible for some of the economic challenges in the country, which was inherited by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The Joint Council, after extensive deliberations, commended the Economic Team of the present administration for its steadfastness in proffering solutions to the myriads of economic challenges in the country.
It also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for retaining the services of the governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, as well as the Minister of Finance from the previous administration, which is a testament of the disposition of Mr President towards rewarding merit above every other thing. It after that solicited for understanding from the generality of Nigerians and calls for action from well-meaning Nigerians.
The spate of insecurity in the country:
The Joint Council reviewed the spate of insecurity in the country and deliberated extensively on where we were in times past, where we are now in terms of the security situation in the country. It after that acknowledges the fact that the present administration has done a lot towards addressing the myriads of security challenges in the country. It also recognises that the Nigerian Military has done tremendously well in the war against Boko Haram terrorist in North East Nigeria by liberating five states ( Adamawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba) in North-East Nigeria from the claws of the Boko Haram scourge. Bit for Borno state still experiencing pockets of Boko Haram attacks in parts of the state.
The Joint Council also acknowledged the impact of the EndSARS protests on our national psyche and blamed the political actors who hijacked the protest to propagate their selfish interests against the country as responsible for the escalation of violence at the time.
The Joint Council salutes the Service Chiefs for their patriotism and call for more efforts by all citizens to support the Service Chiefs as their performances in office have been marvellous. It also backed the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to retain the services of the Service Chiefs, which remains the prerogative of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
The President has demonstrated an unalloyed commitment towards winning the war against terrorism and other acts of criminalities in the country. Consequently, the Joint Council condemns in its totality calls from certain quarters for the sack of Service Chiefs in the country as there is no basis for such demand given the exceptional performance of the security team under the present dispensation.
The fight against Corruption:
The Joint Council deliberated extensively on the fight against corruption in the country. It acknowledged the fact that there have been no sacred cows as evident in the prosecution of high profile cases, including some highly placed government officials who got their hands soiled in the discharge of their duties.
The Joint Council hailed the President’s decision to probe the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu as well as other high profile government appointees. The consensus is that the President has displayed an increased sense of patriotism towards setting the right precedence in the prosecution of the fight against Corruption and other acts of economic sabotage.
The Joint Council after extensive deliberations on the State of the Nation in Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari concludes that the President has displayed an unalloyed commitment towards setting Nigeria on the path to sustainable growth and development through laudable interventions in critical sectors of the economy as enumerated above. The Joint Council also states in unequivocal terms that under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, there have been considerable improvements in critical sectors of the economy, including the security of lives and properties across the country.
The following recommendations were reached at the end of the Joint Extra-Ordinary General Meeting of the Council of Elder Statesmen and the Patriotic Elders Council of Nigeria.
That the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has displayed an unalloyed commitment towards sustainable growth and development.
That it behoves on all well-meaning Nigerians regardless of religious and ethnic affiliations to extend support to the present administration by proffering solutions to the challenges in different sectors of the country.
That Nigerians must make it a duty to desist from acts that would undermine the relative peace and tranquillity in the country.
That Nigerians must see to the fact that the plot by external forces against the socio-economic development of the country is nipped in the bud in the overall interest of the country.
That all hands must be on deck in the journey of sustainable growth and development in the country.