The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and the Arewa Youth Movement (AYM) have called for the resignation of the Minister of Defence, Muhammad Badaru, over the rising insecurity in the North.
The groups staged a protest at the entrance of the National Assembly on Wednesday.
The protesters, who numbered about 100, carried placards with the inscriptions such as “Sleeping Badaru, it is time to wake up”, “Where is Badaru” and others.
The North has continued to grapple with insecurity in recent years. While the North-east is battling with Islamist insurgents and terrorists, the North-west and parts of North-central are ravaged by banditry.
Last Sunday, the Nigerian Army “mistakenly” bombed some civilians in a community in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, North-west Nigeria leading to the death of over 30 people with several injured.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, AYM Secretary, Nasir Ishaku, they are acting based on available facts on the ground.
He said the groups have been observing the attitude of the minister to work, and that they are not impressed with his performance.
“We observed with total dismay the lacklustre performance of His Excellency, the Minster of Defence, Muhammad Badaru, in handling the Ministry of Defence not only as a critical but also a strategic ministry in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. As a result of that, the security situation in the country keeps deteriorating since his inception as Minister of Defence,” Mr Ishaku said.
He added that “There is hardly a week without terrorists attacking one community or the other. People have been killed and are still being killed in their homes, farms and even places of worship. Nigeria keeps losing members of the armed forces which include the army, the air force, the navy and members of the Nigeria Police Force.
“Our university students are still in captivity and no one knows where they are. These are the clear indications that the minister is incompetent to handle that sensitive ministry.”
Mr Ishaku urged President Bola Tinubu to prevail on the minister to resign if he is unable to discharge the function of his office.
“Using this crucial medium to draw the attention of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed force of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. His, Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCON to ask the Hon. Minister of Defence, Muhammadu Badaru, to wake up from his slumber to face his national responsibility or honourably resign because the security situation is deteriorating under his watch,” he said.
Mr Badaru was appointed as the defence minister by Mr Tinubu despite not having any background in defence or security. He is a former governor of Jigawa State.
The Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, is a former governor of Zamfara State, which has also experienced insecurity in the past few years.
Both were sworn in on 21 August.
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