A youth group, the North-east Youth Progressive Alliance, has called on the Federal Government to immediately apologize to the families of the slain Zabarmari rice farmers massacred last Saturday by Boko Haram insurgents.
Addressing journalists late Tuesday evening at the NUJ Press Centre, Bauchi, the spokesman of the group, Barrister Hussaini Saraki, described the statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Mallam Garba Shehu, that the slain farmers did not get permission from the military before going to their farms as most unfortunate.
Describing the statement as uncalled for, Saraki declared that it must be withdrawn with apology tendered to Nigerians, adding that the current insecurity in the North was not what the people bargained for.
According to him, “Whoever made that statement is out of his mind. It is uncalled for and must be withdrawn and apologize to Nigerians immediately.
“The entire North is bleeding and no one seems to care; the leaders among us have chosen to remain silent, watching how innocent people are being slaughtered while thousands are displaced and made refugees in their own country.
“This was not part of the bargain made, neither was it the supposed dividend of democracy promised to our people.”
The group equally called on the Federal Government to ensure that the families of the slain farmers are adequately compensated with a view to relieving them of their pains.
Lamenting the various security challenges bedevilling the North, North-east Youth Progressive Alliance spokesman called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, bring to an end all forms of insecurity in the region.
The group called for the recruitment of Borno youths into the Nigerian Army, Police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), adding that such youths recruited should be deployed to help in the fight against insurgency in their state.
He stated that it was obvious that the current strategies deployed in the fight against insurgency in the North-East had failed, going by the fact that Boko Haram is still carrying out attacks, particularly the latest one.