Saturday, August 16, 2014 1:57 pm
President Goodluck Jonathan did not create Nigeria’s present insecurity problem and should therefore be almost free from blame.
This summed up the submission of the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku.
He spoke Saturday at a civic reception in his honour organised by the people of Nyankpa Kingdom, near Keffi, Nasarawa state.
Maku called on some elders in the northern part of Nigeria who have been heaping blames on Jonathan over insurgency and insecurity to desist from doing so.
He said that the call on President Goodluck Jonathan not to contest the 2015 elections as a result of the security challenge in the North amounted to politicising the security situation. He said that true sons and daughters of the north should be concerned about finding solutions to the problem rather than seeking who to blame for it.
Maku said that Jonathan had done for the north what some previous presidents of northern extraction did not do for the region since independence. He said that the evidence of Jonathan’s efforts to transform the north and restore its lost glory were overwhelming and could not be covered by any form of political manoeuvres
According to the minister, the president did not create the problems in the north so he cannot be held totally liable for them.
“What is expected of all true sons of the north is cooperation with government to end the bloodshed. What we have seen in the country in the past three years is a deliberate attempt by a few individuals to undermine the efforts of the Federal Government. It is obvious that the aim of these people is to use the present challenges in the north to blackmail the president into dropping his ambition of contesting in 2015.
“They are now using the security situation to campaign for 2015 and this is bad and should stop,’’ he said.
Maku said that Jonathan had done for the north what some previous presidents of northern extraction did not do for the region since independence. He said that the evidence of Jonathan’s efforts to transform the north and restore its lost glory were overwhelming and could not be covered by any form of political manoeuvres.
According to him, the railway projects that run from the north to the south, the various road projects, agricultural projects, water and power projects, are some of Jonathan’s legacies for the north.
Maku said that the civic reception had made it evident that the call on the president by the selected group of northern elders was not genuine and did not reflect the wishes of all northern people.
He said that the north was behind the president, adding that he would win more votes in the region than he did in 2011.
The minister, however, called on the people of Nyankpa kingdom and Nasarawa state to embrace peace and remain united in the interest of the state’s development.
He said that no meaningful development would take place in the area if chaos and crises persisted and urged them to support government programmes and policies.
He also spared time to sensitise the people on the need to maintain environmental and personal hygiene to avoid contracting the deadly Ebola virus.
The minister said though no case of infection had been reported in any state outside Lagos, it was important for the people to be aware and vigilant, particularly on preventive measures.
Earlier, the Paramount Ruler of Nyankpa kingdom, Joel Aninge, commended the Federal Government for restoring peace in parts of the country where there had been crises.
He stressed the need for community and political leaders to close ranks to enable government to permanently stem terrorism in parts of the country.
Aninge joined the minister in condemning those politicising the security challenge in parts of the country, describing them as enemies of progress and people who did not mean well for the country.
He warned that his people would not condone acts that would jeopardise public peace and undermine efforts by government to make life better for the people.
He thanked the minister for the visit and urged him to remain committed to the task of nation-building while looking into ways of assisting the community to address some of its challenges.