Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to vacate the office if he can not fix the insecurity challenges facing the country.
Dogara also accused northern Nigerian elders over their ‘silence’ on insecurity in the region in contrast to what they did during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Dogara spoke in Lafia, Nasarawa state at the campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday where he also accused the President of being indifferent to the plight of University teachers and their demands for better working environment.
He said President Buhari is not sincere in the resolution of the crisis.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan on Thursday, Dogara noted that the silence of the northern elders on insecurity in the region could be taken as enabling the poor management of security in the country, especially in the north, a situation that continues to threaten the nation’s democracy and its very foundations.
Dogara was quoted as saying, “Just like my last speech to Nigerians that were gathered in a rally like this in Gombe, I said that the 2019 general elections is not about President Muhammadu Buhari, it’s not about Atiku Abubakar, but I said it is about you who are gathered here and it will be a referendum on insecurity and hunger in this land.
“On the issue of insecurity, all of us know what is happening in Borno and, unfortunately too, between Abuja and Kaduna, as well as in Zamfara, Katsina, Nassarawa, Benue, Plateau and even Sokoto States.
“Now, I cannot even mention all because it is a general problem in the county, but I was highlighting the states where the problem is more endemic as of now. The issue is this, when this thing was going on under Jonathan, we had Borno elders always speaking.
“Where are the Borno elders now? Where are the leaders of Northern Nigeria now that this problem has become endemic? What are they saying now? Are we not guilty of what we allow? Are we not responsible for the killings to say that enough is enough and demand as a matter of right that President Buhari puts an end to this or leave if he can’t?
“The truth is that if we don’t rise up to the endemic challenges now, sooner than later, if things continue this way, we are not going to have a country. So it is our responsibility to rescue Nigeria from the clutches of insecurity.
“Without security; we would not have a meaningful democracy.
“The sad reality in Nigeria is that by our silence we have condoned those who have been unable to effectively tackle the insecurity in the nation. We have have wittingly become enablers of evil. You know what enablers do? Enablers don’t build a country only courageous people do.
“What enablers do is that they instigate the worship of individuals and the office they occupy, they will confuse such an individual with accolades. You know none of us was built to receive worship, anyone who attempts to receive worship will meet destruction in his wake.
Dogara also said that the 2019 election would be a referendum on many issues, including education.
According to him, President Buhari has failed to give enough attention it deserves considering the lackluster way he (Buhari) is handling the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“It’s been said that if you want to destroy a community, state or nation, don’t even fire shots or bring the crisis that is being perpetrated by Boko Haram, don’t even bring nuclear bomb, all you need to do is to lower the standard of education in that Community state, or nation. Once you succeed in doing that, you’ve killed the nation.
“So many of us may not understand what I’m implying, but right now in Nigeria, the university lecturers are on strike. If it was a decent government that is committed to the future of this country, it wouldn’t take one week to resolve this problem, but unfortunately, through ineptitude, the strike is allowed to fester.
“If we shut down education, we shut down progress, we shut down the future of our teeming youth who have gathered here, we shut down the advancement of this great country called Nigeria.
“So the 2019 election will be a referendum on education also,” the Speaker was quoted as saying.