National confab a sham for Jonathan’s re-election – Northern elders
Northern Elders Forum, NEF, yesterday, decried the rising wave of clashes between Fulani herdsmen and the Tiv in Nasarawa State and blamed unnamed top government officials for the mayhem.
According the NEF, the premeditated violence was to create tension in the state and pave the way for the Presidency to unseat Governor Tanko Al Makura through the declaration of a state of emergency.
The Deputy Leader of the Northern Elders Forum, Dr. Paul Unongo, who made the claim at the media briefing in Abuja, also accused the President of selecting his friends to be the sole delegates for the impending National Conference.
The NEF said it would have nothing to do with the confab as it would not produce any tangible result for the country.
According to the forum, the confab had been primed to advance the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The elders, who met in Abuja to review the state of the nation, also lamented the seeming inability of the Federal Government to tackle rising menace of terrorism in the North, which they noted, had caused a lot of havoc and dislocation in the region.
Unongo pointed out that the impending conference would not be able to solve any problem for Nigeria because the delegates were selected by the President instead of allowing Nigerians to elect them as proposed by the Committee raised by the government.
Unongo pointed out: “What they are going to do is not a national conference but a Jonathan conference because almost all the delegates are selected by him and his friends instead of an open election that was adopted for the previous exercises even during the military era.
“This is not fair. The manner of selecting only the friends and associates of the President for the conference does not represent the generality of Nigerians and we cannot be part of such a sham,” the former minister said.
While sympathising with the government over the killings in the North, the NEF official called in the administration to take whatever steps possible to flush out the terrorists, whom he said did not represent any religion in the country, as claimed by some ignorant persons.
Unongo, who advocated the use of what he called “carrot and stick” approach to dislodge the terrorists, warned that the menace could spread to other parts of Nigeria if not checked through a holistic and creative approach.
Turning to the suspension of the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Northern Elders said they were irked by the action of Mr. President for condoning corruption by removing the whistle blower, who risked his life to dare the forces working against the interest of the generality of Nigerians.
NEF said, “In our judgment, we feel that Sanusi has the right to be genuinely concerned about the non-remittances of over $20 billion of oil revenue into the Federation Account as stipulated by law.
“The President should have commended rather than suspend a man who loves this country and has refused to play along with others who are causing serious havoc to the economy of this nation.
“Why is the President afraid of those who are exposing corruption and playing along with those who are wasting public funds?
“How does Sanusi’s sack or suspension bring about the missing billions of dollars of oil revenue?” the NEF leader asked.