A group, Arewa Youth Assembly, (AYA), has warned that unless the remaining 43 train passengers abducted by terrorists on March 28 are released, the 2023 general election will not hold in the North.
The group, which noted that it shared the pains and agony families of victims of the train attack were going through, also warned the authority against taking its threat with levity.
The AYA, which comprises youths drawn from the 19 northern states and Abuja, also called for the immediate sack of the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Munguno (retd.), saying that he had run out of ideas.
This was as the Assembly through its Speaker, Mohammed Danlami, in a statement issued in Kaduna on Monday, called for the probe of all military spending in the war against terrorism and banditry across the country.
According to the statement, the youths of the region will ensure that nobody participates in any political activities or the forthcoming elections if “our brothers and sisters in captivity are not released.”
Besides, the group noted that the authorities concerned must ensure that all territories conquered by the terror groups must be liberated before the forthcoming general election.
The statement read, “As the victims of the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna bound train marked 120 days in captivity, which was celebrated by the terrorists through a released video depicting how they are being molested, the Arewa Youth Assembly (AYA) shares in the pain and agony of the immediate families and friends of those in captivity. We pray God to intervene through His supernatural power and set them free.
“The Assembly make bold to state that our youths won’t participate in activities in the build-up to 2023 General Election and the election proper if our brothers and sisters in captivity are not released.
“Also, most of our Local Government Areas and communities that are now under the control of either Ansaru Terrorists in North-Central and North-West or ISWAP in North-East. In other words, politicians are only welcome to our region, when we have every reason to believe that our forests are free from bandits and terrorists.”
President Muhammadu Buhari was no longer safe as a result of the activities of non-state actors, the group called on the National Security Adviser to quit or be sacked and replaced by the President.
“The AYA notes that the growing audacity of non-state actors, which led to the invasion of Kuje Maximum Prison, Abuja, and the subsequent release of numerous arrested Boko Haram commanders, shows that even Mr President in the Aso Rock Presidential Villa is not safe.
“It is just a matter of time, these ragtag elements will draw inspiration from the Afghanistan Terrorists and take over leadership of our country
“We have observed that this insult to our country’s supremacy wouldn’t have been possible if the National Security Adviser, who was supposed to guide Mr President, had not run out of ideas.
“Since his appointment over 7 years ago, we strongly believe that the man has run out of steam and does not have anything new to offer, hence, the honourable thing for him to do is to pack his luggage and return to his retirement destination and where he fails to do so, Mr President should urgently sack him and get him replaced,” the group added.
“The Assembly also decried the alleged corruption, noting that if the defence budgets were properly deployed, the rag-tag terrorists would not withstand the highly trained Nigerian Armed Forces for just “three days.”
“However, Nigerians believe that the Armed Forces remains the most corrupt institution in our country, that needs to be properly checked by various anti-graft agencies,” the group added.