The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), yesterday, in a strongly worded statement, concluded that the federal government was no longer able to protect her citizens against the marauding criminals in different parts of the country.

The prominent northern group, however, called on the Nigerian citizens to organise themselves better and raise their level of vigilance against the criminals, even as it worried that the current level of insecurity in the region might affect its already poor education especially, for the girl-child.

Against this backdrop, the NEF has called on the governors particularly, those from its region, to explore avenues that could give them more powers to be able to secure citizens within the confines of the constitution of the land.

Relatedly, the Kano State government has directed the immediate closure of some tertiary institutions in the state in view of the current security situation in the state.

Condemning the recent abduction of 317 school children in Zamfara State, NEF in a statement in Kaduna by its Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed said, Nigerians had “lost faith that government will reverse the successes of criminals against defenceless citizens.”

According to NEF, “It has become painfully obvious that the federal government is unable to muster the will or the capacity to limit exposure of Nigerians to violent criminals.”

It noted that the “Northern Elders Forum shares the profound shock and outrage of Nigerians at the spate of kidnappings of boarding school children in different parts of the North.

“Apart from the likelihood of similar abductions re-occurring as bandits engage in copy cat crimes in a region that is basically unprotected, these abductions will severely damage the poor state of education in the North, particularly girl-child education.”

Urging the citizens to organise themselves and raise their levels of vigilance, NEF pleaded with them to resist the temptation to take laws into their hands but improve the manner they work with security agencies.

Unfortunately, NEF held the view that the development had left the governors to quarrel over causes and strategies to adopt in tackling the bandits, claiming that many of them were “taking steps that have dubious legal foundations, most of which merely compound the security situation.

Details Later…