Friday, August 1, 2014 10:12 am
Members of Nigeria National Council of States on Thursday agreed to support President Goodluck Jonathan to bring the insurgency currently ravaging the country to an end before December.
This was one of the outcomes of the Extra Ordinary meeting of the Council called by the President to discuss the state of the country.
Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State who briefed journalists alongside the governors of Akwa Ibom, Godswil Apkabio, Enugu, Sullivan Chime and the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki at the end of the meeting said it was also agreed that those in political leadership at various level must especially watch their utterances.
“In fact, it came to the fore that if there is any threat to either the state or democracy probably the threat is coming from politicians and from leaders of the country. We must understand the boundaries of leadership and also the responsibilities that are involved.
“Leadership is not about beauty contest. In leadership, you must take difficult decisions and really go about implementing them.
“So, all the things came to the fore at the meeting and subsequently, each of us made it a deliberate resolution to all bi-partisan or non-partisan to support the President to make sure that we get rid of this insurgency and indeed suggesting that before December”.
Aliyu dismissed the predictions that Nigeria will break up in 2015. The Governor asked not to pay attention to prediction. “Yes something will happen in 2015 but something positive” he said adding that the ties of Nigeria will be strongly bonded after 2015.
The Council also endorsed last week’s decision of National Security Council to stop registration of non-indigenes and forceful relocation of Nigerians from their places of abode to their states of origin by some states.
Akpabio described the meeting as the most important Council of State meeting in the past five years said: “We did not only look at the security of the country, we also tried to x-tray in a very frank way the contributions of all nationals, the role played by every leader and the led to see how we can take preemptive steps not just to stop the deterioration of the situation but to ensure that the situation is ended in the shortest possible time to give confidence to all Nigerians.
“One of the most important things we took up at the meeting was the issue of how Nigerians can actually be Nigerians in their country and feel free to live and do their business without molestation. So, the issue of indigeneship and deportation or return of Nigerians from any part of the country to their states were discussed.
“The council viewed seriously the report that some citizens were being deported. Deportation should be from one country to another, but where you have a Nigerian who is being returned to his state of origin from another, you know there is a problem. We felt that was capable of disrupting the unity of the country, making Nigerians apprehensive and unsafe.
“Also council frowned at the idea of even registering Nigerians in various parts of the country and felt this must be brought to an end immediately. We looked at all these issues and the role every leader should play – from the local council to federal levels – to ensure that we solidify the unity of this country.
“We also looked at the discriminatory practices across board from all parts of the country and felt that all those issues must be brought to the front burner, solutions proffered to ensure that Nigerians are united, live freely and do their businesses without hindrance.
“Council set up a committee to further discuss with Nigerians and identify discriminatory practices in all states of the federation and in all the councils, and then submit report to Council in the next two months for us to know what steps to take to stop such practices.
This is to know “whether we need to go to the National Assembly, do so through policies at federal, state or council level just to make sure that the country is totally united and all those discriminatory practices are brought to an end so that Nigerians can truly feel free and safe to work in any part of the country.”
Boko Haram responsible for attack on Buhari
The NSA also used the opportunity to respond to allegations that the Federal Government was behind the failed assasination attempt of former head of state, Muhammadu Buhari and Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi in Kaduna last Wednesday.
The NSA noted that Boko Haram had threatened to kill the two Kaduna based personalities as early as February this year.
“We said something about the attack on Buhari and Sheik Dahiru Bauchi . There was a threat as far back as February this year issued by Shekau calling them infidels by name and position saying that they were in trouble and they were going to see.
“Well, the government was not responsible, and if you say that the government was responsible in the case of General Buhari, why don’t you say the same in the case Sheik Dahiru Bauchi.
“We said it not because we had facts but because it is what sells the paper. That is the most unfortunate thing. And we want say that it was not only General Buhari, there were others mentioned too” he said.
The meeting was attended by five former leaders including General Yakubu Gowon; Alhaji Shehu Shagari, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Abdusalami Abubakar, and Chief Enerst Sonekan.
Former Chief Justices Muhammed Uwais and Alfa Belgore were also present at the meeting.
Governors in attendance include Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Godswill Akpabio(Akwa Ibom), Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Babangida Aliyu(Niger), Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Sullivan Chime (Enugu).
Also present were Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Abdufatah Ahmed (Kwara), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Willy Obiano (Anambra) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto),
Others governors at the meeting were Abubakar Yari (Zamfara), Ibrahim Shettima (Borno) and Acting Governor of Adamawa state, Umaru Fintri.