A former Kaduna State governor, Balarabe Musa, and human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), on Sunday, called on Nigerians to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to perform his constitutional duty of ensuring security in the country instead demonising ethnic groups.

They made this call in a joint statement in which they maintained that “the Nigerian state has failed to tackle the worsening insecurity plaguing every part of the country”, and warned of a looming anarchy.

They warned that Nigeria must not be turned into a killing field.

Cataloguing what they described as the symptoms of the brewing socio-political crisis, they said, “Nigeria is increasingly being defined by insecurity.

“Killings have become almost a daily affair in Nigeria.

“Terror attacks, banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery are perpetrated by criminals with reckless abandon. In practical terms, no part of Nigeria is immune to violent crimes, although the incidence might be relatively higher in one part than the other at this time.

“Tragic news of lives wasted issues from the north and south, east and west.”

They stated that “amid the cacophony of ethnic and regional voices, it is imperative that pan – Nigerian voices should be heard louder than ever before to save Nigeria from disintegration”.

They criticised those they described as “ethnic and regional champions” who “have resorted into the dangerous ethnic profiling and demonisation of others”.

They stated, “The appropriate response to these sectional voices is not to glibly question the patriotism of any person or group.

“The effective response is to compel the Nigerian state under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari to perform the constitutional duty of keeping Nigeria secure. Nigeria must not be turned into a killing field.

“The way to take the wind out of the sails of merchants of hate is for the government to confront the worsening insecurity in Nigeria squarely and honestly.”

They called on Buhari to address the nation to give assurance of his commitment to the unity of Nigeria amidst adequate security.

Their statement read in part, “We, therefore, call on President to rally the country around a national purpose of security everywhere in Nigeria as the constitution demands.

“This leadership duty should be in words and action.

“The President should address the nation specifically for the purpose of giving assurance of his commitment to the unity of Nigeria amidst adequate security.

“It is also the duty of genuine lovers of peace, freedom and development of Nigeria to speak up in order to save the nation from descent of anarchy.

It is time that pan-Nigerian voices are heard loud and clear.”

They also asked him to “rethink its internal security strategy by considering some of the patriotic suggestions from conferences and panels set up by government in the last few years.”

Their statement read, in part, “We are convinced that the urgency of the situation should compel the Buhari administration to rethink its internal security strategy by considering some of the patriotic suggestions from conferences and panels set up by government in the last few years.

“In our view, another conference (by whatever name) may not be coming up anything new given that the Nigerian condition is akin to an emergency.

“The police and other security agencies should be equipped and organised to perform their duty in the light of the new dimensions of insecurity.

“The justice system, especially in the states, should be alert to their responsibility of diligent and swift prosecution of arrested suspected criminals. It is the duty of the respective attorneys-general in the affected states to prosecute suspected killers, kidnappers and armed robbers.

“All the tiers of government have responsibilities for security, working in unison.

“If the degeneration in the Nigerian condition is not halted, the nation may descend into anarchy.

“Doubtless, the poor people will bear the brunt of such an avoidable disaster.”

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