President Jonathan has reacted to the October ultimatum handed to him by the Northern Elders Forum to return the missing Chibok girls to their families and end insurgency activities in the north. They made this demand at a press conference yesterday August 11th, alleging that the sect activities are politically motivated with a grand agenda to weaken the political and economical interest of the North, with a view of exploiting this weakness in the 2015 elections.
“We are convinced that most of these conflicts are being engineered to weaken the North politically and economically by interests, which intend to exploit such weaknesses for electoral benefits. In the light of our firm conviction that the insurgency and related security challenges pose threats to the 2015 elections and the survival of our nation, we strongly advise President Goodluck Jonathan to bring an end to the insurgency in all its manifestations and produce the Chibok girls before the end of October 2014. The circumstances under which our fellow citizens in and around Gwoza in Borno State in particular live and die will not be tolerated by any people who have a government and a leader sworn to defend them, and they must be reversed immediately,” the Northern Elders said.
Reacting to the deadline, President Jonathan through his SSA on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, released a statement today describing the threat by the Northern leaders as “preposterous” and “contrary to common sense”. Find President Jonathan’s statement after the cut..
We read with deep concern the statement published in the Media today by the Northern Elders Forum giving President Goodluck Jonathan a two ultimatum on the Boko Haram Insurgency and the Chibok Girls abduction Saga.
We wish to state categorically that President Jonathan does not require any threat or ultimatum from any group of persons to be alive to his responsibilities to the Nigerian People.
The issue of Insurgency especially those ideologically based on Islamic extremism is a global phenomenon and requires tact, military capability, serious de-radicalisation techniques and community based counter insurgency programmes to ensure success.
In these areas, the Federal Government is making progress:
a) We are improving on our operational capabilities and efficiencies by acquiring more advanced weapons and technologies for our military and security agencies.
b) We have drafted more military personnel to the region to strengthen the fighting power of our armed forces.
c) We are taking advantage of the offers from our international military and intelligence allies to assist in identifying key locations.
d) We are working with our neighbours to secure the borders and limit the movements of the Boko Haram fighters, building on the agreements reached at the recent summits in Paris and London.
e) We are deploying more resources to maximize operational efficiency, acquire more advanced and relevant weaponry and boost the general morale of our combatants. This is why the Government recently requested for an additional funding of $1bn.
f) And the last piece in the puzzle is targeting the domestic and international funding, and stopping the money flows into the coffers of the terrorists.
g) With all these efforts and the support of our allies, these steps will help fight the threat of the Boko haram and move us closer to bringing the girls back safely.
Lastly, the suggestion that the Government is carrying out any scheme to annihilate any section of the country for political gain is preposterous, contrary to common sense, divisive and essentially a deliberate attempt to disseminate “hate mentality” and cause mischief.
President Goodluck Jonathan was voted for by an overwhelming majority of Nigerians across the board, and he will never promote any policy that is either divisive or inimical to the wellbeing of any section of the polity.
What the country needs today is total co-operation, of all its citizens and stakeholders, with the Government and our military and the security agencies.
We wish to assure Nigerians that in spite of this and many more distractions, the President is focused on continued successful executions of his transformation Agenda; and the guarantee of the security of lives and properties of the Nigerian people.