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Northern Elders Upbraid ACF Leadership over Comments on Jonathan

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IMAGE: Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, the Chairman of NEC »


The Northern Elders Council (NEC) yesterday condemned what it called outrageous and uncharitable statements made by the Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), former Inspector General of Police (IG), Alhaji Ibrahim Coomasie, against President Goodluck Jonathan.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, the Chairman of NEC, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, who was a foundation member of the ACF, said  the  group had completely derailed from the mission and vision of its founding fathers.

“We wish to observe that since the emergence of the current leadership of the ACF, there has been a derailment and total non-compliance with the mission and vision of the founding fathers of the forum.

“A motley crowd of desperate opposition politicians have hijacked its machinery. It is becoming more and more isolationist even within the region and this has greatly degraded the respectability and non-partisanship of the ACF,” Yakasai said.

“Northern Elders Council regrets totally the way and manner the ACF Chairman, Coomasie, addressed the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, in his recent press conference. To say that “President Jonathan does not like the North” is outrageous and uncharitable. And to say that he has failed is untrue,” Yakassai said.

According to Yakasai, “NEC received the statement with complete surprise and total bewilderment. The statement attributed to ACF chairman has confirmed the allegations of partisanship and the claim that ACF is hob-knobbing with opposition elements and unrepentant critics of the Jonathan administration.”

The NEC chairman said Coomasie ought to have cross-checked his facts very well before making public statements on such a sensitive issue as security.

He said: “The ACF Chairman should have widely consulted with key managers of the security establishment who are eminent northerners and who are in the frontline in the fight against Boko Haram such as the National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd), the Minister of Defence, Gen. Aliyu Gusau, Minister for Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki and the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba.”

Also, contrary to the position of the ACF that Jonathan has failed the North and therefore should forget running in 2015, a member of the Board of Trustees of ACF, General Jeremiah Useni (rtd), has scored the president high and called on Nigeria to rally round him for 2015.

A ddressing journalist  in Jos yesterday, Useni, who was the immediate past Chairman, Board of Trustees of ACF, said the president had performed to the admiration of many in the last four years in office and commended the giant strides he has taken to curb the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency.

He said: “I commend the giant strides taken by the federal government to curb the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency and wish to commend in particular the commitment of Mr. President for his foresight and unflinching efforts to end this ugly security situation.”

Useni added that the crave for power to come to the North in 2015 was an individual position not a collective position of the ACF, adding that the incumbent president has the constitutional  right to run in 2015 if he so wishes.

“I was the chairman of ACF BoT for six years and  I am still a member of the  board, this is an  individual opinion,  ACF has no blue print that it must be so, and so. President Jonathan has not done eight years, what he did the other time was just a remnant of tenure of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and you cannot count that against him.

“So he is about completing his first four years and he has another four years, he is entitled to contest 2015. I am not part of the northern elders who said he should not contest in 2015. We have said at the national conference that this should move between north and south,” he said.

On the controversy over zoning of governorship in Plateau State, Useni said it would be absolutely wrong and morally wrong for anybody to say it must start from the Northern senatorial zone again, especially as the incumbent Governor, Jonah Jang from the zone is about to complete his second term of eight years. 

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     NEC     ACF     lhaji Tanko Yakasai     President Goodluck Jonathan     Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki     Gen. Aliyu Gusau