Free Chibok girls or forget 2015, Northern elders tell Jonathan

Chibok girlsThe Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to end insurgency in the North and ensure release of the Chibok girls by October ending or forget Northern support in the 2015 presidential election.

In a statement issued in Kaduna on Monday, the Forum posited that the twin demands remain the only conditions by which the President could enjoy Northern backing if he decides to run in 2015.

The statement, signed by Solomon Dalung and Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, lamented the increasing wave of insecurity, expressing reservation that it poses serious threat to the survival of the nation as well as the conduct of credible elections in 2015.

The statement reads: “The circumstance 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.

“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 Ebele Jonathan to bring an end to the insurgency in all its manifestations and produce the Chibok girls before the end of October 2014,”

“In the event that President Jonathan fails to do this, Nigerians will be left with the only conclusion that he has forfeited his right to ask for our mandate beyond 2015.

“It is no secret that the vast majority of northerners lament their marginalization, insecurity and poverty, and blame it in large part on the inability or unwillingness of its past and present leaders to utilize all access to power which they enjoyed to bring us redress and relief.

“The NEF joins millions of northerners in appealing to these leaders, General Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, General Muhammed Buhari, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, General Abdulsalam Abubakar, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Nnamadi Sambo and all retired Chief Justice of Nigeria from the north to raise their level of involvement in (the) fortunes of our region.

“If these leaders cannot visibly help to transform the fortunes of the north in the next few months, they will live northerners with the damaging impression that they have abandoned the region and the people to its seemingly irreversible decline and ultimate destruction.”