by Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo
The Chairman, Mobilisation and Organisation Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Buruji Kashamu has hit out at the Arewa Consultative Forum for accusing President Goodluck Jonathan of hating the North.
In a statement issued yesterday in Lagos, Kashamu, said: “I note with dismay the attempt by the ACF to heap the blame of the security challenges bedevilling the North-east on President Jonathan as if they were his creations. Terrorism is a global phenomenon and requires broad-based cooperation. It is unfair that whereas the rest of the world is collaborating with the federal government to arrest the situation, some of our otherwise respectable citizens are promoting disunity among our people.
“We should take a cue from other climes where the citizens support those in government once the elections are over.”
He said that there was no reason for the ACF to make such sweeping allegation except that such statement was politically motivated.
“Anything to the contrary would be tantamount to drawing us back by several years. Perhaps there is a sense in the claim that the ACF has become a political group that is pliable to the opposition. If that were not the case, there is no reason why the body would make such a sweeping statement to the effect that the whole of the North is in disarray, whereas it is only the North-east that is facing some security challenges.
“Even at that, President Jonathan is well aware of his duties and responsibilities as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is doing his very best to manage the situation and bring it under control. While he is providing the resources needed to combat insurgency in the North-east, he insists that utmost restraint must be exercised in order not to cause more problems in trying to solve one. All that is needed is the cooperation and support of all Nigerians across political, religious and ethnic divides.”
He said it was disingenuous for any group to insinuate that “the current policies and the government attitude towards the insurgency suggest that there was a deliberate plan to emasculate the North politically, reduce it numerically, disunite its people religiously and divide them politically.”
Kashamu noted that as part of the measures by the Jonathan administration to end insurgency, it has launched the “Save Our Schools” initiative as well as the “Victims Support Fund,” “just as it pursues the almajiris education programme and other job creation initiatives.
He wondered how anyone could accuse President Jonathan of any wrong doing on the security challenges in the North-east “when he is striving day and night to end insurgency in the North-east? Indeed, it was because of his firm belief in the Rule of Law, democracy, equity and justice, that he declared a state of emergency in the affected places and yet retained the democratic structures with the governors still in office. The ACF and other lovers of our nation should work towards the sustenance of democratic and more egalitarian Nigeria, which are the necessary ingredients for peace.”
He then commended Jonathan for his effort in the North as against the allegations of the ACF, “He has done marvellously well. He is arguably the only President who has led with the fear of God, empathy and sincerity. He is a stickler for the justice and equity. He does not believe in imposition and marginalisation.”