by Sesan Olufowobi and David Attah

 


Christians in the North have asked President Goodluck Jonathan to resign over his comment on Boko Haram.

President Goodluck Jonathan | credits:

Jonathan was quoted to have said he could not crush the Islamic sect because “they are our siblings and you cannot set the army to wipe out your family”.

In a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Sunday Oibe, the Northern Christian Association of Nigeria said the comments credited to Jonathan was an indication that the country  was in a helpless situation as the President “does not seem to understand the aim of the sect to destabilise his administration.”

According to the CAN, it is shocking   for  the President to say he will not deploy the military to deal  with terrorist who have  been killing other Nigerians and threatening the corporate existence of the country.

The body argued that it was clear that the President has been shielding the group at the expense of the lives of innocent people, urging Nigerians to have a rethink on the type of president that is governing the country at the moment.

The statement read in part, “What he is telling us now is that there is nothing he can do about it, but we know that the Federal Government has the capacity to stop the madness being unleashed on Nigerians. However, it is now obvious that the President will rather shield criminals.

“Every Nigerian can recall how former President Olusegun Obasanjo reacted when the Niger Delta militants attacked soldiers in Udi.  Even though the militants were asking for their legitimate right, Obasanjo dealt with them squarely for resorting to criminality in agitating for their right. No country in the world will allow its soldiers, trained to defend the territorial integrity of the nation to be killed by a gang of criminals and get away with it.

“Nigerians can also recall that in Zaki – Biam, Benue state, the same  Obasanjo as President sent troops to deal ruthlessly with the people there for allegedly killing soldiers.

“Now on a daily basis soldiers, police and other security personnel are being killed by Boko Haram members and the President has the effrontery to tell us that these murderers are members of the family and he cannot mobilise the army to deal with them.

“Jonathan has failed us Christians, he has failed Nigerians and he should resign because by this statement, it is very clear that he is not capable of handling the danger pose by the Boko Haram insurgency.”

Also, the Anglican Communion, Kaduna Diocese  said illiteracy, unemployment and poverty  in the North  were not responsible for various crises in the region.

In a  10-point – communiqué issued  at the end of the 1st session of the 19th Synod of the Diocese and signed by the Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev Josiah Idowu –Fearon, insisted that illiteracy, poverty and unemployment were never the cause of the sundry crises in the region as many were wont to believe.

 

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BY Sam Eyoboka & NDAHI MARAMA

 


MAIDUGURI—  TWENTY suspected terrorists were killed weekend in Maiduguri, Borno State during a shoot-out between them and the Joint Task Force. It was also gathered that the JTF lost a soldier while two others sustained gunshot injuries in the duel.

Soldiers on patrol

Meanwhile, the Islamic sect popularly called Boko Haram has denied the JTF claim of killing 20 of its members. According to Abul Qaqa, spokesman of the group:  “They (JTF) only succeeded in killing innocent civilians. It is not possible for 20 of our members to sit in a volatile place and hold meeting; it is not possible”. Qaqa who spoke by phone said his group will not relent in its offensive until a Sharia State is established across Nigeria.

Confirming the incident to newsmen, the Field Operations Officer of JTF in Borno State, Colonel Victor Ebhaleme said: “We got intelligence report that some suspected Boko Haram terrorists were having a  meeting at a particular location in the metropolis. As we approached the venue of their meeting the suspects opened fire on the JTF which led to the killing of 20 of them, while we lost one soldier and two others sustained injury.”According to a  military source, “the suspected terrorists were planning attack on the town”, noting that had the security operatives not moved immediately, the town would have been on fire perhaps by Sunday (yesterday).

Ebhaleme said the recent successes recorded by the JTF in its crackdown on terrorists were as a result of a change of strategy by the JTF which tends to treat the civil populace humanely.

He said the new tactics tagged “Humanitarian Line of Operation” tried to embrace the civil society.

Gunmen kill Policeman in Gombe church attack

Meanwhile one Policeman was said to have been over powered and killed by yet to be identified gunmen who attacked All Saints Catholic Church besides Kanoyel, Bogo, Gombe, Gombe State where several hundreds of faithful had gathered for the early Sunday morning worship yesterday.

Sources close to the church told our reporter last night that five  gunmen approached the church between 9.00 and 10.00 a.m. while the service was on and as they made to shoot at the worshippers, two policemen who had been detailed to protect the church intervened.

In the shoot-out that ensued, five armed men were said to have over powered the security details, gunned down one of them while the second escaped with injuries. The gunmen were said to have made away with their riffles while the injured policeman was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital.

It was not clear if the Police in Gombe had arrested any of the gunmen, who eye witnesses said, escaped after police reinforcement stormed the scene.

Reacting to the development, director of Social Communications, Rev. Monsignor Gabriel Osu condemned the continued attack on churches and worship centres and the waste of innocent lives. He charged northern elders to speak out against the killings in parts of the North.

The Lagos Catholic Archdiocesan spokesperson expressed disgust at the silence of the elders in the North and wondered why such mindless attacks can be tolerated even during the Ramadan season.

Osu condemned the latest in the wanton acts of terrorism, saying: “I am indeed tempted to call for a state of emergency to be declared in all the states where these things have continued unabated as if human life is no longer sacred.”

Osu condemns killings, urges Northern elders to speak out

According to him, these strange happenings in the North and the silence of northern elders have increased the clamour for state police, adding “it’s a wake up call for the nation’s legislators to accede to the calls for state and community police, because these things cannot be happening with such impunity.

“Not too long ago they told the nation that arms factories were discovered in certain parts of the country. Who own those properties that are being used as arms factories? What happened to all the people they arrested thus far?”

The new National Security Adviser told the nation that he had the phone numbers of Boko Haram leaders. What has he done thus far,” he kept asking.

According to him, the nation’s Police Force and the military should not give Nigerians and the world in general, the impression that they are incapable of handling the security situation in the country. “They must fish out the perpetrators of the carnage before the nation becomes another pariah state,” he added.

 

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by David Attah, Kaduna

 


Northern youths under the aegis of the Arewa Youth Forum on Tuesday in Kaduna  asked President Goodluck Jonathan to “call to order,” his kinsmen – former Federal Commissioner for Information and Ijaw Leader, Chief Edwin Clark; and the leader of the Niger Delta Volunteer  Force, Asari Dokubo – for their “unguarded utterances” which could lead to the disintegration of the country.

Edwin Clark and Asari Dokubo | credits:

National President of the AYF, Mr.  Gambo  Gujungu, in a statement, insisted that the region was not afraid of war.

He said, “People like  Clark and Asari had forgotten that the region was the mainstay of the Nigerian state before the discovery of oil.

“It is pertinent to let the war mongers know that the North is not afraid  of war. But we are advocates of peace.  We are not war mongers and will not and will never call for war within the polity of Nigeria.

“But we are bothered that Asari Dokubo, Edwin Clark and co are turning President Goodluck Jonathan into an Ijaw  leader instead of the President of the Federal republic of Nigeria that he is.”

He warned people beating the drum of war as according to him, in the past two decades, apart from Sri Lanka, nobody had won a war against another country.

Gujungu  said it was unfortunate that the likes of Asari  were blaming the North for Boko Haram as if every northerner is a member of Boko Haram. “That is not good enough,” he added.

Gujungu said in the statement, “Having taken a keen interest and appraisal of what has been happening in the Nigerian polity of recent culminating in the recent outburst and frontal attack on the North by the leader of Niger Delta People Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, we have deem it necessary to react as follows.

“Let it be known that the youths of the North under the umbrella of the AYF are peace loving people who believe in the peaceful coexistence of Nigeria and has been working and will continue to work for the peaceful co existence of the country.

“Asari should know that some of us are quite aware of the type of person he is. We know his antecedents and the type of person he is. The Volunteer Force leader is not the one to threaten any body and should not continue in the way of threat or else we will be force to expose him for who he truly is.”

 

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By SONI DANIEL

 


ABUJA—As the spate of violence escalates, particularly in the North, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to quit if he could not solve the growing security threats to lives and property in the country.

El-Rufai and Jonathan

In an exclusive interview with Vanguard yesterday, el-Rufai said it was indefensible for the government to allow innocent souls to be slaughtered daily without any response from the administration. El-Rufai spoke against the backdrop of Chief Edwin Clark’s assertion that northern leaders were not doing enough to curtail the Boko Haram sect, apparently to bring down the administration.While dismissing Clark’s allegation as untenable, the former minister warned the elder statesman to desist from making inflammatory and unverified statements capable of exposing him to ridicule instead of applause that he deserves at his age.

El-Rufai also asked the former federal information commissioner to desist from insulting northern leaders at the slightest opportunity.

According to him, Jonathan has already made it clear to Nigerians and the international community that the gale of bombings in the land was beyond the capability of his administration to handle, a situation, he described as unfortunate. He stated that other Nigerian heads of state had at different times and periods been confronted with serious challenges and they deployed appropriate state apparatus to deal with them without resorting to wrong quarters and the ordinary citizens for help. “Why is it that only President Jonathan cannot solve Nigeria’s security problem? el-Rufai asked.

“If he cannot do the job for which he was elected to do, he should consider going home. No president has ever sought the help of the ordinary people in tackling security problems in this country.

“The protection of lives and property of the citizens is the basis of any government in power and if the leadership has failed woefully to deploy the resources and information at its disposal to enforce coercive power for the benefit of the society, then it had no reason to stay on,” he stated.

He said the current situation in the country had made many Nigerians to be worried about the future of the country, warning that if urgent steps were not taken to reverse the dangerous trend, the country could be plunged into a deeper crisis.

On the controversy over the implementation of the budget, the former minister maintained that if the budget had worked, it would have brought some relief to the ordinary citizens who had almost been choked by the economic stagnation in the country. “Yes, all of us would have seen the results if the budget had been well implemented. A good economic system shows in the quality of lives of the people and does not end on the pages of newspapers,” he added. The former minister said the finance minister alone cannot change the current gloomy economic outlook in the country, as a tree cannot make a forest.

On the allegations that he was making noise preparatory to contesting the presidential election in 2015, he cautioned those making the claims to wait for 2015, pointing out however, that he was qualified to do so if he wanted.

 

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BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE & BEN AGANDE, With agency report

 


ABUJA—PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, said he would neither convert to Islam nor resign his position for peace to reign in the country as demanded by the Boko Haram Sect.

President Goodluck Jonathan coming out from the newly inaugurated Armour Personnel Carrier, “Igirigi Apc” Manufactured by Nigerian Army Engineering Corp, after test driving today Monday in Jaji, Kaduna State.NAN Photo

The Jamaatu Ahlis Sunnah Lil Daawati wal Jihad, popular called Boko Haram, which said it was not negotiating with any government representative and had no plans to do so, had in a half-hour video made in Hausa and posted on YouTube, called on President Jonathan to resign, and also accept Islam as a pre-condition for peace.Describing the demand as blackmail that he was not ready to succumb to, the President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr Reuben Abati, said he would not resign because he is the custodian of a mandate given to him by Christians and Muslims alike.
According to Abati, it is ridiculous for any group in the country to issue such conditions to the president.
“When Nigerians voted overwhelmingly for President Jonathan in the 2011 general election, they knew they were voting for a Christian. He continues to enjoy the goodwill and support of the good people of Nigeria. As president, Dr. Jonathan is the leader of both Muslims and Christians; in fact, he is the leader of persons of all faiths.
“So, it amounts to sheer blackmail for any individual or group to ask the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to convert to Islam. The president cannot be intimidated by any group or individual. The President will never resign. He has the mandate of Nigerians to serve his fatherland and nobody should imagine that he will succumb to blackmail.”

However, in the video, made by the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, in the form of an Islamic lecture on Saturday, the group offered no explanation for its demands and positions. It claimed that it doesn’t kill “women and children,” but those “who have offended us, arrested our people and killed them” and that some people were committing evil acts in its name and that it would go after such people.

The sect also rejected any plans by the Federal Government to legislate on the number of children Nigerians can have, describing such proposal as “blasphemy.”

The Federal Government has made dialogue with the Boko Haram sect a major way of curtailing the group’s insurgency in Northern Nigeria.

Ahmed Dasuki, the National Security Adviser, had pledged to seek ceasefire with the group before the commencement of the Islamic month of Ramadan which entered its 18th day today.

 

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By Henry Umoru

 


ABUJA— FORMER President Ibrahim Babangida, yesterday, slammed elder-statesman Chief Edwin Clark over his allegation that some Northern leaders including him, Babangida, were soft on the Boko Haram insurgency.

Ex -President Ibrahim Babangida and elder-statesman Chief Edwin Clark

In a stout rebuttal to the assertion, Babangida alleged that sense may indeed have departed from Clark and hence his disregard for the historic role he (Babangida) played in unifying the country.Affirming that he had no reason to play politics with the issue having left the ‘political industry’, Babangida traced the difficulties of the Jonathan administration to divisive people he said were of the same mindset with Clark, who have prevented the present administration from seeking reasonable counsel from those that could help it.

He specifically alluded to former Heads of State who he claimed were not being consulted by the present administration.

Babangida spoke in response to Clark’s claims last Wednesday that some northern leaders were behind the increasing spate of violence in the country.

Clark spoke as guest speaker at the second State of the Federation Lecture organised by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, NIALS.

Clark had specifically challenged Babangida and former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to condemn the activities of the Boko Haram group that has claimed responsibility for the insurgency campaign in many parts of the north.

Clark noting the joint declaration by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Babangida on the spate of insecurity had said at the lecture:

“Boko Haram preceded Jonathan. It started in 2002 when Obasanjo was President. It was there when Yar’Adua was also ruling. It is not synonymous with Jonathan. I had expected that somebody like Babangida should have spoken since. I thought he would have spoken with his friend Buhari. Two of them have been meeting. So why is he now with Obasanjo?

“At 72, Babangida said he will wear uniform and fight for the unity of Nigeria, he should therefore stand up now and condemn Boko Haram from the bottom of his heart, not with Obasanjo. Obasanjo has gone to Maiduguri to meet the people, why has Babangida not gone?” he asked.

But responding yesterday, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Kassim Afegbua, Babangida said:

“The statement reportedly credited to Chief Edwin Clark on Friday, August 3, 2012 in several newspapers and online media to the effect that General IBB has a hand in Boko Haram, is the subject of this response. We are ashamed to state here that rather than coming up with plausible and efficacious solution[s] to the insecurity in the country, what the self-acclaimed elder statesman came up with was buck-passing, such odium and rancid outburst, to the extent of trying to accuse General Ibrahim Babangida on the Boko Haram menace. We view this misguided and senseless statement in very bad taste and we take very strong exceptions to his drooling and implied conclusion.

I ‘ll not work against Nigeria’s unity, stability

“For the purpose of putting the records straight, General Ibrahim Babangida, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, former President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces and civil war hero, does not and will not have a hand in anything untoward against the unity and stability of the Nigerian State. Having seen it all in life, and now enjoying his retirement in Minna, Niger State, General Ibrahim Babangida has paid his dues by serving his fatherland to the best of his ability at various times in the history of the country.

“Having invested so much in the unity and stability of the country, to the extent of fighting in the civil war to keep the country together, it is out of place for anyone, least of all an old man of Edwin Clark’s nomenclature, to input directly or indirectly that the great IBB should prove his innocence on the Boko Haram menace.

“We want to believe that Chief Edwin Clark was quoted out of context, but if indeed he did say what was credited to him, we are forced to accept the conclusion that on account of his age, his senses have since departed him. He needs our empathies and not sympathies. We have since known Chief Edwin Clark to be a loose cannon in public discourse. He deserves our pity.

“We were expecting Chief Edwin Clark to use the opportunity of his forum to advance solutions to the insecurity situation in the country with particular reference to the Boko Haram crisis. General Ibrahim Babangida has offered several approaches and methodologies to addressing the precarious situation both in public and private, and had stated without equivocation that dialogue would serve as a better tool than this militant approach which is not yielding appropriate result.

“He had also stated that President Goodluck Jonathan should use some of the respected Muslim clerics in the North as middlemen to reach members of Boko Haram and appeal for calm and understanding, in the interest of the unity and stability of the system. Needless to state that Government is a huge institution with several options open to it. And the earlier we discard this old method of reactionary approach and adopt a proactive one, in handling sensitive situations such as the one under reference, the better it will be for the country.

“With ethnic mindset of a Chief Edwin Clark, we can understand why the country appears fixated and why there has not been nationally accepted approach to combating this Boko Haram menace. Anyone who sees the Boko Haram menace as strictly a Northern affair would be exhibiting crass ignorance about leadership in a multi-ethnic configuration like Nigeria.”

Babangida who reiterated the need for a collective responsibility in nipping in the bud the problem, said, “the earlier we began the patriotic process of viewing challenges as collective responsibility, the better it would be for getting solutions to the problem. When ethnic jingoists speak and reason in the manner that Chief Edwin Clark did, then we have a huge problem on our hands.

“Former President, General Ibrahim Babangida has no hand in the present challenges facing President Goodluck Jonathan, and the insecurity in the country. In fact, it is IBB’s belief that some of the problems were inherited by the present administration. IBB has since left the political turf for the younger generation of Nigerians. He has said repeatedly that he will no longer be an applicant in the political industry in Nigeria until Allah calls him home.

‘’Rather than crucify General IBB for nothing, Chief Edwin Clark should blame the corruption in the system and the several incompetence and inadequacies of the present system.

Instead of buck-passing and playing the blame game, we expect Edwin Clark to advise the government of the day to do more of consultation with former presidents, opinion moulders and leaders of thoughts across the country with the aim of getting lasting and integrated solutions to our problems.

Let it be noted that further implied statements and misplaced accusations from Chief Edwin Clark would be greeted with litigation. A word is enough for the aged.”

 

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By Emmanuel Aziken, Okey Ndiribe, Soni Daniels, Charles Kumolu, DAPO AKINREFON & Gbenga Oke

 


LAGOS— Northern interest groups and leaders, yesterday, flayed Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark’s assertion of the culpability of Northern leaders in the Boko Haram insurgency, describing his claim as extreme ethnic jingoism.

In their various reactions to Clark’s claim of northern conspiracy against the Goodluck Jonathan administration, the northern groups and elders said the depiction of the President as a victim was a wrong assessment of what they separately described as the inability of the regime to address a problem that has spread through ethnic and religious divisions in the north.

File photo: Crowd at the Abubakar Gunmi Central Market in Kaduna State on June 24 after relaxation of 24hrs curfew engendered by multiple bomb attacks which killed many in the state Photo by Olu Ajayi.

The northern leaders’ reaction came in the face of the assertion by Clark at a public lecture in Abuja on Wednesday that powerful northern leaders are orchestrating the Boko Haram insurgency to destabilise the Goodluck Jonathan administration.Among those who reacted yesterday were the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF; the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF; prominent northern leader, Alhaji Lawal Kaita; fiery northern political commentator Dr. Junaid Mohammed; prominent lawyer, Abubakar Malami, SAN, and Rep. Zakari Mohammed, the spokesman of the House of Representatives.

Clark is wrong — ACF

Reacting to the assertion, the ACF speaking though its spokesman, Anthony A. Z. Sanni said:

“If Chief Edwin Clark believes Northern Leaders brought about Boko Haram in order to make the country ungovernable for President Jonathan; you in the media should remind him that President Umar Yar’Adua used force and killed 700 members of the sect and their leader in 2009 when there was no politics of zoning.

“What is more, President Jonathan’s ruling party controls about 14 northern states. The numbers 2,3,4 and 5 in the government are from the North. How would the North make the country ungovernable under such situation?

“I have made this point clear that it is unhelpful to associate Boko Haram with a region, with religion or with ethnicity. Were it strategic to think so, America would have associated al-Qaeda with Saudi Arabia or with Islam, since Osama Bin Laden and most of the 19 pilots who brought the New York twin towers down on 9/11 were of Saudi extraction.

“Nigerians passed their judgment and rejected politics of zoning when they voted President Jonathan in 2011. As democrats, northern leaders under ACF congratulated President Jonathan and all those who won their elections. ACF also paid courtesy call on Mr President and urged Nigerians to support the government and  that politicians should go to the trenches for 2015 only when the whistle is blown by the authority.

“What else should northern leaders do in order to assure Chief Clark that the security challenges and the national malaise have not been brought about by northern leaders? The media should also help dispel such misconceptions for national interest,” Sani said.

It’s pure blackmail — Arewa youths

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, in its own reaction described the assertion as pure blackmail that would inevitably compound the problems of the president.

“That is a blackmail and one is not surprised because the elder statesman, though I have respect for him, but sometimes, his utterances seem to compound more trouble for the Niger Delta people and even the president,” Alhaji Yerima Shetimma, the national president of the AYCF told Vanguard yesterday.

“One of the issues they have raised is that often time, when they talk, they say ‘our president, our son’, ‘our oil and our money’, that does not protect the unity of this country; in fact, it is a threat to national unity.

“When there was crisis in the Niger Delta, some of us did not see it as a Niger Delta crisis but as a Nigerian problem. Of what importance will it be to a northerner to sponsor Boko Haram and at the same time, the direct victim is the northerner because, over 99 per cent  of victims of Boko Haram are northerners.
”Jonathan did not become President because of the support he had only from the South-south. In fact, some of us did the work for him to be there. Some of us pushed for the Doctrine of Necessity and I was one of the vocal voices that stood and insisted that the right thing must be done. If they continue doing that, they are treading on the wrong path and they might end up ruining. This must stop, this madness must stop. So, nobody should accuse the north, this is blackmail and we will resist it”.

Kaita, Mohammed, others react

Prominent Northern leader, Kaita on his part described the claim by Clark as a lie, saying that most northern leaders no longer take Clark serious.

“That was a dishonest lie by E.K Clark. Northern elders have never been against Jonathan’s administration. And northern elders are not Boko Haram. We all want peace for this nation. Unfortunately, the government has allowed Boko Haram to be in charge. They are not doing enough in that respect. For anybody to say that we are using Boko Haram to destablise Jonathan’s administration means that the person is telling a blatant lie. Even the casualties resulting from Boko Haram attacks are mainly northerners, how can someone now say that the elders are using it to destabilise Jonathan’s administration? We northern elders no longer take E.K Clark serious. As  far as we are concerned, he is not serious on his positions on the state of the nation, although he used to be a very good friend of the north before now.

“Jonathan’s administration will collapse by its non performance, especially non implementation of the budget,” Kaita said.

Dr. Junaid Mohammed in his own reaction said: “I wouldn’t want to go mad with a reckless statement credited to Chief Edwin Clark. I can confirm to you that the event was conceived and financed to do exactly what Chief Edwin Clark did and those who are behind the event have been handsomely paid in addition to promises made to them.
”Secondly, he is a man of age but no wisdom”, he said.

Expressing his disappointment that Clark who is a lawyer could express such comments, Dr. Mohammed said: ”Where is the proof from Barrister or Lawyer Edwin Clark? Where is the proof from those who are peddling this irresponsible talk?  The statement he has made is very baseless and irresponsible.

“They should have enough evidence and proof before making this kind of inflammatory statement and if they cannot prove, they should be prosecuted.”

In his own assertion yesterday, Rep. Zakari Mohammed the spokesman of the House of Representatives described the depiction of northern leaders by Clark as grossly sensational.

Responding to Clark’s charge to Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to condemn the activities of the Boko Haram group, Mohammed said:

“These two leaders have demonstrated their commitment to the united existence of this country. They don’t need to openly say what they have been doing about the prevailing situation in the country.

“It is unfair for him to cast aspersions on these past leaders. There should be mutual respect in this country; that is what makes a nation. The problem of terrorism in this country is not a sectional one. Both Muslims and Christians are being killed. During the general elections, both Christians and Muslims voted for President Goodluck Jonathan.”

Prominent northern lawyer, Abubakar Malami, SAN, also absolved northern leaders of complicity in the charges against them by Clark in the raging Boko Haram violence that has wreaked havoc in many parts of the north.

Malami said the ongoing security challenge in the land was borne out of government inability to deal with the monster, and not instigated by northern leaders.

He stated that it was the government’s total incompetence that had given rise to the state of insecurity in the country.

The lawyer said that it was wrong for Clark to accuse northern leaders of taking side with Boko Haram when they neither control security votes nor the apparatus of fighting crime.

“The man should not look for scapegoats for what the government has clearly failed to address. If the administration is incompetent to tackle insecurity, nobody should blame it on innocent citizens who have not been given any money or tools to fight crime,” Malami said.

“What we are witnessing in the country today is purely a case of incompetence on the part of the government. It is appalling that after budgeting about N1 trillion for security and doing nothing about it even with the huge sum, someone is turning round to blame other persons,” he added.

Malami, however agreed with Clark that the country did not need a Sovereign National Conference but the devolution of powers to enable other tiers of government to tackle their developmental challenges more effectively.

According to him, SNC is alien to the Nigerian Constitution and should therefore be discouraged while Nigerians who have genuine issues can initiate private bills to address them.

 

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