7th October, 2010
A northern group has distanced itself from a statement made by Mallam Adamu Ciroma andÂ some members of the Northern Political Leaders Forum, urging President Goodluck JonathanÂ 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 NationalÂ Coordinator, Alhaji Tukur Ibrahim and National Secretary, Comrade Sani Kabir andÂ published in some national newspapers today, decried the desperate attempts by someÂ people to manipulate the act of terrorism by miscreants to score cheap popularity andÂ unenviable political goals.
According to the group, it was wrong for Ciroma and his group to allege that theÂ president can no longer be trusted to be fair to the north, and therefore threatened toÂ impeach him if he failed to resign just because of a purported claim by an associate ofÂ MEND, Mr. Henry Okah, that he was contracted by an unnamed aide of President Jonathan toÂ frame up some northerners as being responsible for the bomb explosions.
NPU said: â€œIt thus appears to us that a serious and glaring act of terrorism by someÂ misguided and self-seeking miscreants which ought to be of concern to all patriotic andÂ well-meaning individuals is being manipulated to score cheap popularity and unenviableÂ political goals. Okahâ€™s claim is, without doubt, an act of blackmail by a drowning manÂ determined not to sink alone; a show of failure in the course of executing a hatchet job.Â Our position, therefore, is that the issue of Abuja bomb blasts should not be politicisedÂ by any individual or group, and there is no basis for the North to feel unsafe with theÂ Jonathan presidency.
â€œRather than holding an evidently erroneous belief that Jonathan is working against theÂ north, he should be applauded for exhibiting a high sense of broad-mindedness by takingÂ north along in his programmes and appointments. It is also noteworthy that the JonathanÂ presidency is a continuation of a northern administration led by the late President UmaruÂ Yarâ€™Adua. Therefore, Jonathan has no hidden agenda. President Goodluck Jonathan is aÂ competent leader who ought to be given maximum support to succeed in his burning desireÂ to conduct free and fair elections in 2011. As a responsible and patriotic northernÂ socio-political group, we therefore, call for caution most especially from our northernÂ elders in their actions and utterances.
â€œAgainst the backdrop of growing, but evidently misguided agitations by some self-styledÂ leaders and elders of the North for the retention of the presidency in 2011 based on aÂ purported informal zoning arrangement of the Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party, PDP, we regardÂ the so-called northern elders at the forefront of the agitation as selfish and expiredÂ politicians not fighting for the interest of the north, but merely playing out a hiddenÂ agenda. Consequently, we shall not hesitate to mobilise northern youths to revolt againstÂ them within permissible legal limits, if they do not relent in the present agitation forÂ a northern presidency in 2011 on the basis of the constitutionally flawed PDP zoningÂ arrangement.â€
The group urged â€œour old and over-recycled northern politicians to bury theirÂ presidential ambitions, as new political blocs in the north and the youths have resolvedÂ to take their destiny in their hands and rebel against the old order. We say so becauseÂ those who are insisting on a northern presidency at all costs in 2011, are our elders whoÂ are very selfish and only thinking of themselves and not the common man; they areÂ thinking of their children, their wives, and relations.
â€œWe are indeed, disturbed by the unfolding unpatriotic antics of some of our elders whichÂ are capable of plunging the nation into serious crises. We believe it is the duty of eachÂ and every Nigerian to put the interest of our country first, look at Nigeria as oneÂ entity and forget about holding hard-line positions. If we continue this way, for howÂ long will we be able to change the political landscape of this country? The youths in theÂ north are suffering much in terms of economic empowerment and therefore, we are not inÂ support of any other thing than a Nigerian president, and we should allow PresidentÂ Goodluck Jonathan to continue in 2011 so that we can have continuity because where thereÂ is no continuity in governance, there will be no development.
â€œWe state unequivocally, that while the north had ruled this country for over 38 years,Â it has been of zero benefit to the northerners. The level of poverty in the north isÂ terrible compared to other geopolitical zones in the country. It is only in the northÂ that you see almajiris, beggars, and so on because our leaders failed us, they did not doÂ anything for us and that is why we are in this kind of problem. And for how long are weÂ going to watch this trend? There is insecurity, lack of employment, the almajiris areÂ there, and no formal education. Ironically, our elders and leaders in the north had aÂ golden opportunity to transform the region, but they couldnâ€™t do it.â€
The group advised Ciroma and his ilk to stop heating up the polity and allow the youngerÂ generation to take over governance, adding, â€œwe shall embark on enlightenment campaignsÂ from the grassroots to local government, state and the national level to tell our eldersÂ that all we need is peace, unity and progressive change.â€