The Northern Elders Forum has said that President Muhammadu Buhari does not have the political will to handle the security challenges facing the country.
In a meeting held at the Kashim Ibrahim House in Kaduna State on Thursday, the forum also described the devastation of the Northern region by bandits and other criminals as a "Dangerous Situation."
Speaking to reporters at the end of the meeting, NEF Spokesman, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said the bandits have taken advantage of the weak security landscape to ply their trade.
Baba-Ahmed noted that the northern communities have been devasted as the federal government led by President Buhari is unable to protect the region.
He said: "We have not seen any evidence that President Buhari can handle the security challenges.
"He has failed to protect the North. We hear every day that the military are doing their best, unfortunately, it is either the problems are much bigger than them or their best is not enough.
"We do not see evidence that PMB as the President and Commander in Chief of Armed Forces understands the magnitude of insecurity in the north or has the commitment and willingness to address this insecurity issues, we hear every day that the police are doing their best, the military is doing their best.
"Unfortunately, their best is not good enough, the person who swore with Quran to protect the north/Nigeria is the President and Commander in chief of Armed Forces and what we see on ground does not show that we are committed."
Speaking further, Baba-Ahmed asserted that "the governors are trying their best but they do not have control over police."
He said "People look up to the governors, while they in turn, ask what do you want us to do? We do not have authorities of the Federal Government. But it is not enough. Banditry, Kidnapping is getting worse.
"Kidnapping of school children is threatening education in the North. We have enough problem with poverty in the North."
Commenting on the call by Sheik Ahmad Gumi for amnesty for bandits, he said, "We agree on a multi-positive approach to deal with it.
"If there is a bandit who is willing to stop what he is doing and assures genuine interest to stop what he is doing, we support discussing with them, there is no way you can close the door to amnesty if that is the only way you can deal with it.
"We do not encourage criminality; we do not say forgive a criminal if the criminal wants to continue to commit criminal acts but we support Gumi's initiative but where we draw the line is, we must never give them the impression that criminals will just simply be pardoned and they will continue committing crime that is not what we are saying."
Source: Naija News