'Produce Kidnapped Chibok Girls, or Forget 2015'- Northern Elders tells Jonathan
Northern Elders Forum (NEF) yesterday, said that President Goodluck Jonathan should forget about contesting in 2015 if he fails to produce the Chibok secondary school students kidnapped by the Boko Haram sect in April.
According to statement, signed by Barrister Solomon Dalung and Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the group NEF states that it does not believe that the Nigerian military cannot defeat the terrorists, and that it feels the conflicts in the country are simply being engineered to weaken the North politically and economically.
“We also reject the notion that multiple internal security challenges such as attacks on villages, ethno-religions conflicts and banditry springing up by the day in many parts of the north are all a coincidence,” the statement said. “Indeed, we are convinced that most of these conflicts are being engineered to weaken the North politically and economically by interests which intend to exploit such weaknesses for electoral benefits.”
NEF expressed strong displeasure over the Boko Haram insurgency, the government’s failure to deal with it, and the recent massacre in Gwoza town in Borno State.
It said it was issuing the statement after concluding a major review of the state of the nation, and as part of its continuous commitment to help to resolve Nigeria’s current political, economic and security challenges, and facilitate the emergence of a more united, secure and prosperous nation out of its present limitations.
“The security situation in our nation today represents the most serious threat to our individual and collective lives in our entire history,” NEF warned.
It observed that the reality is that the threats posed by what appears to be an insurgency that has many manifestations and defies a clear and consistent identity is growing on account of a clear national consensus over its nature and it solutions.
“The lack of a strong will at the level of the presidency to fight it, as well as deep-seated corruption and incompetence in governments and in the management of our security challenges has allowed a band of terrorists to take and hold vast parts of our land and populations hostage, while every citizen lives in fear that they will be its next victim.”
Asking Mr. Jonathan to forfeit 2015 unless he produces the Chibok girls, the Northern Elders warned, “In the light of our firm conviction that the insurgency and related security challenges pose threats to the 2015 elections and the survival of our nation, we strongly advise President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to bring an end to the insurgency in all its manifestations and produce the Chibok girls before the end of October, 2014. The circumstances under which our fellow citizens in and around Gwoza in Borno state in particular live and die will not be tolerated by any people who have a government and a leader sworn to defend them, and they must be reversed immediately. In the event that President Jonathan fails to do this, Nigerians will be left with the only conclusion that he has forfeited his right to ask for our mandate beyond 2015.”
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