You ‘ve Declared War on the North, Northern Elders Tell Jonathan
Northern elders under the auspices of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) Thursday described the state of emergency slammed on three northern states by President Goodluck Jonathan as an indirect declaration of war on Northern Nigeria.
Spokesman for the NEF, Prof Ango Abdullahi, rising from a meeting of the group said they are disappointed by the sudden change of tactic by Jonathan on how to resolve the crisis in the north.
The group had in April presented a roadmap on how to end the Boko Haram insurgency to President Jonathan at a meeting in Abuja, action, which took the northern elders by surprise, came barely three weeks after Jonathan accepted a roadmap from the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, on how to end the Boko Haram insurgency, leading to President Jonathan’s setting up of two committees with a mandate to broker peace with the sect and compensate their victims within a three-month time frame.
The committees were eventually inaugurated three weeks ago, even though the sect leadership rejected the amnesty offer, saying that it was the government that should seek amnesty for having killed its Muslim brothers.
But Prof Ango Abdullahi, who relayed the position of the group said, said: “It is very sad to see that the President has easily changed direction from dialogue and reconciliation to war in his bid to end the cycle of violence in the north.
“The volte-face by Jonathan amounts to undermining our agreement with him on peace and reconciliation and we are disturbed that he has opted for force rather than peace to end the violence.
“What the President has done has now justified the fear of those who rejected membership of the Boko Haram amnesty committee on the suspicion that he was not sincere in setting up the panel and that it was programmed to fail so as to justify military action against the north.
“We hereby call on the President to immediately disband the so-called Boko Haram amnesty committee, as there is no need to continue to waste public funds on a matter, whose purpose has been deliberately truncated by the very person who initiated it.
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