Ultimatum to Jonathan: Shut Up, North Tells North
Members of the Northern Elders Council have taken a swipe at their counterparts in the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) for issuing a two-month ultimatum to President Goodluck Jonathan to rescue the Chibok girls or forget the support of the north in 2015.
The Northern Elders Forum, had in a statement issued on Monday in Kaduna, handed President Jonathan up to October ending to end insurgency in the north and rescue the over 200 Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram about 120 days ago.
But, the Northern Elders Council according to a statement issued by its spokesperson, Yusuf Mamman, in Abuja on Wednesday, described the NEF’s position as unfortunate, noting that politicising insurgency would not be in the best interest of the country.
The statement reads: “The Northern Elder Council appreciates and supports the efforts of the Federal government in fighting against insurgency.
“It also appreciates the timeline as agreed by the council of states toward ending the insurgency and similar criminal activities across the country on or before the end of the year.
“It is necessary to also appreciate our security agencies for untiring effort and sacrifice to end the senseless killing of our fellow citizens. Terrorism as we all are aware is a global phenomenon and any attempt to politicize the insurgency will not augur well for the country.
“It is time that we understand and fully appreciate the danger posed by this menace so that we put all hands on deck and cooperate with government and security agencies toward ending the scourge.
“Insurgency does not recognize sectional, linguistic or cultural interest as it has no respect for them. To ensure that insurgency is nipped in the bud President Goodluck Jonathan has said that he will mobilize logistical and international support to ensure that our security agencies are fully provided of their needs to motivate them in surmounting the challenges posed by insecurity.
“As a measure of concern, strategy and compassion, there is the Presidential initiative for the development of North-east region and insurgency victims fund all set up to cater for victims and respond to the challenges posed by insurgency.
“Similarly, Nigerians and world at large are aware that the President held meeting with parent of Chibok girls assuring them of the safe return of their children. Management of such delicate and complex release of hostages presupposes the primacy of having the girls alive and well by tact and carefully planned and executed strategy to ensure success,” the statement reads.
Reacting to NEF statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said: “President Goodluck Jonathan does not require any threat or ultimatum from any group of persons to be alive to his responsibilities to the Nigerian People.
“The suggestion that the Government is carrying out any scheme to annihilate any section of the country for political gain is preposterous, contrary to common sense, divisive and essentially a deliberate attempt to disseminate “hate mentality” and cause mischief.
“We wish to assure Nigerians that in spite of this and many more distractions, the President is focused on continued successful executions of his transformation Agenda; and the guarantee of the security of lives and properties of the Nigerian people”.