President Goodluck Jonathan should immediately resign from office because he has proved that he is incapable of leading the nation justly and fairly, the Northern Political Leaders Forum declared in Abuja yesterday.
If the president fails to quit by the end of this week, the National Assembly should immediately take steps to impeach and remove him from the office, the Forum also said. It was reacting to claims earlier yesterday by exiled MEND leader Henry Okah, who said a Jonathan aide had asked him to retract the groups’ claim of responsibility for last Friday’s Abuja bomb blasts so it could be blamed on Northern politicians.
The spokesman for Jonathan’s campaign organisation Sully Abu responded last night, saying, “Malam Malam Adamu Ciroma is one of our most distinguished statesmen and a role model to the youth of this country whom we all look up to, and anything that detracts from that role is not welcome and should be discouraged.”
Northern Political Leaders’ Forum [NPLF] leader Mallam Adamu Ciroma, who signed the statement, said, “We as citizens of this country have totally lost confidence in his leadership and hereby call on him to immediately resign.” He said since Jonathan was desperate enough to want to hang mass murder around the necks of unnamed Northerners, “We state, without any equivocation that, as Northerners and as citizens of this country, we no longer feel safe and secure under his leadership.”
Condemning the bomb attacks that occurred in Abuja during the 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations, the Forum said it was regrettable that the attacks took place while the Heads of State and Government of several African and other countries were seated in Eagle Square, “while the attention of the whole world was upon us.”
The statement further said, “It is regrettable that these bombs were allowed to go off given that the nation’s security organizations had admitted that they were forewarned by foreign intelligence organizations and by the bombers themselves. It is also unfortunate that the bombings followed recent changes in the leadership of the nation’s first line of defence – the armed forces, the police force and State Security Service.”
“We in the Northern Political Leaders Forum condemn in the strongest possible terms this callous and barbaric act of cruelty and cowardice, perpetrated by a group of people steeped in the culture of terrorism and unbridled violence. We condemn all those who give them shelter or comfort under any guise and call on all law-abiding and peace loving Nigerians to raise their collective voice against this violent group, its method and motive. We call on the Federal
Government and the nation’s law enforcement agencies to pursue these common criminals masquerading as militants with all the resources at their disposal and bring each and every one of them to justice for the crime of murder and for taking arms against the State.”
The Forum said it was a rude shock to the nation when President Goodluck Jonathan declared, only hours after the Abuja bombs that killed and maimed innocent civilians, “that MEND, the criminal group that took responsibility for the bombings, was not to blame,” saying: “Not only that, the President was also quoted as saying that he knew who the bombers were and that they were terrorists, not MEND, a distinction which reveals where the President’s sympathies lie.”
“In a curious reversal of roles, the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces who swore to an oath to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria and to protect the lives and property of its citizens has found himself, instead, going the extra mile to absolve from culpability the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the attacks. Even more disturbing was the declaration by the President, only hours into the bombing investigations, that he knew who the attackers were.”
Ciroma also said, “We would like to state, for the umpteenth time, that President Goodluck Jonathan’s desperation to be President again in 2011 can only take Nigeria back to the dark days of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Third Term with all its attendant instability and the wasting of innocent civilians’ lives. Now that the President has proven that he is incapable of leading the nation justly and fairly and that he is desperate enough to want to hang mass murder around the neck of unnamed Northerners to achieve his second term, we as citizens of this country have totally lost confidence in his leadership and hereby call on him to immediately resign.”