Bomb Blasts: Northern Group Disowns Ciroma


A northern group has distanced itself from a statement made by Mallam Adamu Ciroma and  some members of the Northern Political Leaders Forum, urging President Goodluck Jonathan  to resign from office or be impeached in the wake of the Abuja bomb blasts last Friday.

The group, Northern Progressive Union, NPU, in a statement jointly signed by its National  Coordinator, Alhaji Tukur Ibrahim and National Secretary, Comrade Sani Kabir and  published in some national newspapers today, decried the desperate attempts by some  people to manipulate the act of terrorism by miscreants to score cheap popularity and  unenviable political goals.

According to the group, it was wrong for Ciroma and his group to allege that the  president can no longer be trusted to be fair to the north, and therefore threatened to  impeach him if he failed to resign just because of a purported claim by an associate of  MEND, Mr. Henry Okah, that he was contracted by an unnamed aide of President Jonathan to  frame up some northerners as being responsible for the bomb explosions.

NPU said: “It thus appears to us that a serious and glaring act of terrorism by some  misguided and self-seeking miscreants which ought to be of concern to all patriotic and  well-meaning individuals is being manipulated to score cheap popularity and unenviable  political goals. Okah’s claim is, without doubt, an act of blackmail by a drowning man  determined not to sink alone; a show of failure in the course of executing a hatchet job.  Our position, therefore, is that the issue of Abuja bomb blasts should not be politicised  by any individual or group, and there is no basis for the North to feel unsafe with the  Jonathan presidency.

“Rather than holding an evidently erroneous belief that Jonathan is working against the  north, he should be applauded for exhibiting a high sense of broad-mindedness by taking  north along in his programmes and appointments. It is also noteworthy that the Jonathan  presidency is a continuation of a northern administration led by the late President Umaru  Yar’Adua. Therefore, Jonathan has no hidden agenda. President Goodluck Jonathan is a  competent leader who ought to be given maximum support to succeed in his burning desire  to conduct free and fair elections in 2011. As a responsible and patriotic northern  socio-political group, we therefore, call for caution most especially from our northern  elders in their actions and utterances.

“Against the backdrop of growing, but evidently misguided agitations by some self-styled  leaders and elders of the North for the retention of the presidency in 2011 based on a  purported informal zoning arrangement of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, we regard  the so-called northern elders at the forefront of the agitation as selfish and expired  politicians not fighting for the interest of the north, but merely playing out a hidden  agenda. Consequently, we shall not hesitate to mobilise northern youths to revolt against  them within permissible legal limits, if they do not relent in the present agitation for  a northern presidency in 2011 on the basis of the constitutionally flawed PDP zoning  arrangement.”

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The group urged “our old and over-recycled northern politicians to bury their  presidential ambitions, as new political blocs in the north and the youths have resolved  to take their destiny in their hands and rebel against the old order. We say so because  those who are insisting on a northern presidency at all costs in 2011, are our elders who  are very selfish and only thinking of themselves and not the common man; they are  thinking of their children, their wives, and relations.

“We are indeed, disturbed by the unfolding unpatriotic antics of some of our elders which  are capable of plunging the nation into serious crises. We believe it is the duty of each  and every Nigerian to put the interest of our country first, look at Nigeria as one  entity and forget about holding hard-line positions. If we continue this way, for how  long will we be able to change the political landscape of this country? The youths in the  north are suffering much in terms of economic empowerment and therefore, we are not in  support of any other thing than a Nigerian president, and we should allow President  Goodluck Jonathan to continue in 2011 so that we can have continuity because where there  is no continuity in governance, there will be no development.

“We state unequivocally, that while the north had ruled this country for over 38 years,  it has been of zero benefit to the northerners. The level of poverty in the north is  terrible compared to other geopolitical zones in the country. It is only in the north  that you see almajiris, beggars, and so on because our leaders failed us, they did not do  anything for us and that is why we are in this kind of problem. And for how long are we  going to watch this trend? There is insecurity, lack of employment, the almajiris are  there, and no formal education. Ironically, our elders and leaders in the north had a  golden opportunity to transform the region, but they couldn’t do it.”

The group advised Ciroma and his ilk to stop heating up the polity and allow the younger  generation to take over governance, adding, “we shall embark on enlightenment campaigns  from the grassroots to local government, state and the national level to tell our elders  that all we need is peace, unity and progressive change.”

—Ada Owojela

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