_…hail President, security agencies for saving the country_
Some renowned activists from the north, today, held a peaceful rally in appreciation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s peace efforts across the nation.
The demonstrators, under the auspices of the Coalition of Northern Activists for Peace (CNAP), walked from the Unity Fountain to the Presidential Villa in their numbers chanting and applauding the president.
According to the activists, President Buhari and the security agents have so far risen to the occasion in terms of security of lives and properties and should be commended.
In his address, National Convener, Suleiman Dogara, said things could have been worse than the state it was in 2015 if not for the intervention of the President and his security team.
He noted that President Buhari has already bequeathed a country where peace and tranquillity will reign supreme.
Also applauding the security agencies, Comrade Dogara said gone are the days when they could not defend the territorial integrity of the nation, adding that normalcy has returned in almost all parts.
His words, “We all know for certain that the issues at stake require a multi-stakeholder approach, which is necessary considering the dynamics of the issues that have affected the socio-economic well-being of the peaceful and loving people of Northern Nigeria.
“We must admit that the past twelve years have been challenging, especially with the havoc caused by the activities of the Boko Haram insurgent group and other militant organizations. It is indeed a statement of fact that the actions of these criminal elements brought sorrow, tears and blood in a most barbaric and condemnable manner.
“As concerned stakeholders in Northern Nigeria, we cannot feign ignorance to the issues affecting the region, which by all indications are politically motivated. This is incognizant that successive governments attempted to address the issues. However, their best wasn’t good enough, so much so that we feared that Armageddon had come.
“My comrades, we don’t need a soothsayer to tell us about the heavy economic losses that have arisen due to the activities of non-state actors. We also do not need a prophet to say that hundreds of thousands of mothers and children have lost their lives in the carnage.
“At some point, we feared that peace would never return to the north. Our fears were brought about by the inability of those saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and properties that seemed handicapped for ethnic, social and political reasons.
“I recall that as a group, we have advocated for a leader in Nigeria that would brave the odds and provide that political will in addressing these challenges in our quest for sustainable growth and development.
We know the task is daunting given the economic and political support these criminal gangs enjoyed from the most unlikely places. They wielded enormous influence that aided their nefarious activities to the detriment of the innocent women and children who have been unfortunate to bear the brunt of the actions of these non-state actors.
“My comrades, there came a ray of hope in 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari took over the reins of government. His famous speech that emphasized that he belongs to everybody and he belongs to nobody still resonates to date.
“The present administration’s actions towards addressing the issues in Northern Nigeria have been noteworthy despite the array of conspiracies against it. We knew that it was equally a daunting task, for it would not be business as usual.
“We knew that the promoters of bloodshed in Northern Nigeria would fight back vigorously. And they did, but to no avail, because we had a president who has displayed an unalloyed commitment to leaving Nigeria better than he met it.
“We had a president in Muhammadu Buhari whose critical concern is the welfare of the ordinary citizens of Nigeria who are desirous of the better life they deserve. And he has lived up to the billing of a president that is desirous of bequeathing a country where peace and tranquillity shall reign supreme.
“Today, my comrades, we are all witnesses to the notable efforts of our security agencies in curtailing the activities of bandits that have been terrorizing most northern parts of the country. Their operational strategies have indeed yielded positives, and we are all witnesses to the heavy casualties suffered by these non-state actors due to the proactive approach developed and employed by the heads of the security agencies in Nigeria.
“This gathering is indeed in commendation of the efforts put in place to address the security challenges not just in northern Nigeria but all parts of the country. As concerned stakeholders, we know for a fact that intelligence gathering by our security agencies has been top-notch. The level of collaborations between sister security agencies has also been commendable. The result is what we see today.
“Let us make no mistakes; the Muhammadu Buhari administration has set Nigeria on the path of greatness. Gone are those days where we feared for the worse. Gone are those days where local government areas in Northern Nigeria were under the control of non-state actors. And gone are those days where our security agencies could not defend the territorial integrity of our dear country.
“My comrades, our joy knows no bounds. That we are gathered here today is an indication that there is hope for Nigeria. We can’t be less grateful to God for the gift of President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigeria.
“What can we say or what can we do? We must continue to be partners in the peacebuilding processes that have taken centre stage in Northern Nigeria. We cannot afford a return to the yesteryears where blood flowed freely. We cannot return to the years of the locust where no one was sure of where the next bomb would be detonated.
“We are indeed on the right track. We enormously thank President Muhammad Buhari for his sound leadership that has brought us out of darkness and into the light. The various indices in Northern Nigeria point in the right direction. It behoves all well-meaning Nigerians to join forces towards ensuring that the peacebuilding process is not truncated for whatever reason”.
The activists, therefore, called on all stakeholders to support the peace-building of the north in 2022 and beyond.
Dogara, however, urged President Buhari and the security agents not to relent in their efforts to keep non-state actors’ activities at bay.
“We also encourage other critical stakeholders in Northern Nigeria to it as a challenge that the peacebuilding process in Northern Nigeria is sustained towards achieving the overall objective of peace and tranquillity,” the statement added.
“The ball is now in our court, and we either choose peace and sustainable development or nothing else. As members of the Coalition of Northern Activists for Peace, we desire peace, and we are solidly in support of the peacebuilding process in Northern Nigeria”.