Emir of Kano Ado Bayero yesterday urged President Jonathan to implement recommendations on ending insurgency in the North as contained in a report submitted to him by the Northern Elders Forum. Speaking when he received a Federal Government delegation at his palace in Kano, the emir also said the suicide bombing in Kano on Monday was aimed at sparking a national crisis.
The government delegation, led by Interior Minister Abba Moro, was in Kano to commiserate with the people over the motor park attack that left at least 22 people dead. Bayero had earlier received leaders of the Northern Elders Forum who told him that the suggestions they presented to Jonathan eight months ago were ignored. “When a delegation of the Northern Elders Forum visited, they informed me of the report they submitted to the president,” he told the government delegation.
“I therefore call on the president to look at the report and other recommendations from the Northern Elders Forum with a view to applying them for lasting solution to this insecurity that is claiming many lives and destroying property.” Bayero said the masterminds of the Monday bombing were trying to spark up violence between peoples of the North and the South. “Time has come for government to fish out those behind this unwholesome act, because we have been living with our brothers from other parts of the country peacefully, but it appears some people are bent on causing disaffection among us,” he said.
“It could be that there are some people who are behind this. Government should do everything possible to get to the root of the matter.” ‘Dumped’ The Northern Elders Forum yesterday told journalists in Kano that President Jonathan dumped the report they submitted to him eight months ago on possible avenues to end the crisis in the North. One of the forum’s leaders, Professor Ango Abdullahi, said: “We submitted our recommendations directly to the Presidency in which we suggested to the government to employ collective approach and dialogue, not use of force.
We have waited for eight months without response from the Presidency. “The government threw away our recommendations and took to military action, believing it is the only way to tackle the Boko Haram crisis. And now eight months have passed and nothing has changed, things have kept moving from bad to worse.” Abdullahi also said the forum was in support of granting amnesty to the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lid Da’awati wal Jihad, also known as Boko Haram, which is blamed for the insurgency that left thousands dead since 2009. On Jonathan’s claims that Boko Haram members were ghosts, Abdullahi said: “We are not fools, because we can all recall when Mr. President openly claimed that he knows there are members of Boko Haram in the Army, the Police, in his government and that he dines with them.
So he knows better than anybody where Boko Haram members are and therefore he alone can find them and talk with them because he said it.” Speaking during the government delegation’s visit to Bayero, the Interior Minister Abba Moro assured of the Federal Government’s readiness to deploy the necessary security measures to avoid a repeat of Monday’s bombing. The minister was accompanied by his Police Affairs counterpart retired Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade, Minister of State for Defence Mrs. Olusola Obada, Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Azubuike Ihejirika and Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar. The delegation visited scene of the attack and hospitals where the injured were being treated.
Earlier during a session with the emir, leader of the Northern Elders Forum delegation Mr. Paul Unongo, a former Minister of Mines and Steel, said the forum would continue to do its best in order to ensure unity and peace in the region as well as to restore its lost glory. “We want to assure you that the forum will continue to give useful suggestions and advice to the government on how to move the North and the entire country forward,” he said.
These on the forum’s team were the Dan Masanin Kano Yusuf Maitama Sule, former President of the Court of Appeal Mustapha Akanbi, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, Alhaji Yahaya Kwande, former Agriculture minister Sani Zangon-Daura, former Borno State governor Mohammed Goni, former Vice- Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof Ango Abdullahi, former Chief of Army Staff Gen. Abdurrahman Dambazau, former Chief of Air Staff AVM Al-Amin Daggash and a former Federal Permanent Secretary, Hajiya Safiya Mohammed.