Northern elders under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CNEEPD) has blamed hunger and frustration for the End SARS and insecurity protests across the country.
The elders in a communique issued after a meeting on Saturday in Abuja signed by Zana Goni, representing the North East; Dr Mohammed Suleman for North West and Professor Ofa Afolabi for North Central, expressed support for the protests and condemned attacks on the protesters by security agents and sponsored thugs.
The communique reads in part:
“After exhaustive and painstaking deliberation by the entire executives and members of Coalition of Northern Elders or Peace and Development, in Abuja, Nigeria the forum unanimously resolved as follows:
“That the forum passed a vote of confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari and the 19 Northern governors.
“That we note with deep concern the momentum at which the end SARS and insecurity protest is gathering by the day across the nation and wish to state categorically that it is due to frustration occasioned by the president’s deliberate refusal to restructure the security apparatus of the nation despite daily calls by Nigerians including the National Assembly to do so.
“That insecurity has links with all the problems Nigerians are facing today.
“That we strongly condemn the killings, harassments, and attacks of protesting Nigerians by some overzealous members of Nigeria police and some sponsored thugs in Abuja, Kano, Plateau and Bauchi states.
“That we call on the Inspector General of Police to urgently arrest the erring police officers and hoodlums responsible for the attacks.
“That we support in totality the continuous peaceful protests by Nigerians across the country over police brutality and call on the protesters to remain focused and peaceful.
“That we condemn the persistent insecurity in Nigeria particularly in the North, despite the huge investment so far running into trillions of naira to Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“That we call for an independent forensic investigation into the expenditure of the Armed Force from December 2015 till date.
“That we are deeply worried over the plight of IDPs and the communities in the North East and call on government and international donors to as a matter of urgency, do more in addressing the medical, food and sanitation needs of the people affected by insecurity in the region.
“That we call on Mr President to immediately sack the current service chiefs and restructure the entire security architecture of Nigeria.
“That we further call on Mr President to take immediate advantage of the ongoing protests and restructure the country’s security architecture.
“Finally, the forum call Nigerians from all works of life to continue to speak out against the insecurity and urgent need of its restructuring until Mr President acts.”