Don’t vote based on religion, tribe, CNG tells Northerners

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), on Monday, ask the Northern voters to resist the temptation of voting along religion, tribe and political party lines ahead of the 2023 general election.

The coalition noted that hunger is stalking millions of northern communities, inflation is making life difficult by the day, people are losing jobs, businesses are closing down, infrastructure is decaying, young people are losing hope, and hospitals are full of people who suffer mysterious illnesses, and they cannot afford the fees.

CNG, in a Communique issued at the end of a two-day retreat of CNG, by its Spokesperson Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, urged Northerners to ask those seeking their votes to provide comprehensive programmes for the development of the region and promotion of their interest.

The group demand an immediate, transparent and comprehensive investigation into growing concerns over rampant defence corruption running into trillions of Naira.

According to the Communiqué: “Resisting the temptation to vote sole across a political party, region, tribe or religious basis and instead, choose to install a credible leadership that could see the nation through and out of its current situation, from if needs be, even the so-called peripheral parties.

“Demand urgent government explanation on what is inhibiting the ability of Nigerian armed forces to effectively tackle the insurgent threat in the North East, banditry and kidnappings in the northwest as well as respond to the secessionist violence in the Southeast, oil bunkering in the Niger Delta, the conflict in the north-central, and the threat of maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

“The unmindful, commendable rehabilitation efforts going on in the North-East, the retreat resolved to alert the nation to wake up to the magnitude of the humanitarian disaster that Boko Haram and activities of bandits have created and:

“Warn of the imminent dangers of neglecting millions of our fellow citizens who are internally displaced and hundreds of thousands of orphans, with hunger and malnourishment, previously unknown in our land becoming alarming features of existence.

“Warn that dealing with this humanitarian disaster will require a stronger political will and deployment of the highest administrative and managerial competencies. Recognize that the simultaneous challenges of continuing the fight against Boko Haram, rehabilitating IDPs and rebuilding lives, communities and infrastructure will require the best in leadership capacities.

“Warn that the current quality of coordination of efforts, management of skills and resources and the capacities and integrity of government agencies do not do justice to the magnitude of the problems, or address the sense of urgency in dealing with an escalating disaster.

“Demand government to overhaul the existing institutional mechanisms involved in dealing with the management of the humanitarian disaster before the problem becomes much worse than it is.

The coalition noted that the rise in crime and violence in the North is associated with the disabling level of poverty, weak, inefficient, ineffective and insufficient government response, absence of political will and capacity in addition to defence corruption.

He said: “A decade-long Boko Haram conflict with no end in sight has led to one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises with an estimated 27,000 people, most of them civilians, killed.

“The retreat noted that some 8.4 million people in the north-east states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe will need humanitarian aid in 2022. Of these, 2.2 million are internally displaced; 1.5 million are returnees who lack essential services and livelihoods; and 3.9 million are members of communities affected by their hosting of internally displaced people. This figure also includes the majority (an estimated 733,000) of the 1 million people in areas currently inaccessible to international humanitarian actors.

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