Alleged plot to remove President Goodluck Jonathan from power took a new twist yesterday as Southern leaders dared the Northerners allegedly behind the repeated impeachment threats against the President to carry out their plot and rock the Nigerian boat.
The leaders, under the aegis of Southern Mandate, in a statement issued in Abuja at the end of its meeting, said it was aware of clandestine meetings by a group of Northern leaders, made up of wealthy, retired Army Generals, politicians and businessmen “to map out new strategies and mobilise funds to intensify a long-drawn battle to ease President Goodluck Jonathan out of office through whatever means.”
Representatives of various southern groups at the meeting included Tito Zuokumor, Onengiye Elekima, Victor Akpe, Ekene Nwachukwu, Zacheaus Odera, Obi Okoroma, Demola Oloruntoba, Tope Ismail and Fadairo Bamidele.
The statement said: “The Southern Mandate hereby declares its resolve to protect and defend the office and person of President Goodluck Jonathan through appropriate and legal means. Let it be noted that no individual, group or region has a monopoly of coercion, force or ability to create chaos.
“Enough of these acts of disunity, which had been the basis of persistent calls for a Sovereign National Conference to discuss the future of our dear country. It is either we decide to live peacefully or go our separate ways with a simple handshake. But we are also ready to sink the boat when push gets to shove.”
The group, with representatives from the three southern geo-political zones, said those involved in the move were partly responsible for the heightened massive killings in various parts of the North, in line with their vow to make Nigeria ungovernable under President Jonathan.
They said when that strategy did not yield the desired result, they enlisted members of the House of Representatives, three months ago, to impeach the President, using the plank of an alleged poor 2012 budget implementation.