The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of dividing Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines because of his determination to win the 2015 presidential election at all cost.
Making this allegation, yesterday, National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Mr Anthony Sani, said the “tacit promotion of cleavages along religious and ethnic lines is unhelpful not only to the North but also, to the country.”
Speaking on the allegations credited to the National Chairman of ACF, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed that Jonathan was employing divide and rule tactics to divide the north, Sani said, “the allegations by the chairman that the presidency may be poised to divide the North for political reasons may not be unconnected with what is happening in Northern States Governors Forum, NSGF, where the presidency is said to have tacitly recognized a faction of Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, to the chagrin of a faction reported to have won the elections, thereby dividing northern governors along that same line.
“What is more, Chief Edwin Clark was said to have led some leaders of both northern and southern minorities to President Jonathan and endorsed him for 2015 at a time when both the same presidency and INEC as well as ACF have advised against starting politics of 2015 two years earlier.
“ACF considers such attitude to be tacit promotion of cleavages along religious and ethnic lines that is unhelpful not only to the North but also to the country. I want to believe that was what informed the Chairman’s statement or allegations. ACF believes in one united North because the current challenges of insecurity cannot be allowed to determine our destiny. We must shape events instead of making events to shape us.
“When you talk of core North and those in periphery, I wonder what you mean. This is because I have heard people also talk of divisions of Hausa /Fulanis and the rest, as well as religious divides, all of which are surreal; precisely because there exists overlapping interests and countervailing forces which reinforce unity and stability of the North. What is more, ACF is working hard to bring the people together so that they can work hard and overcome the differences that divide the people in order to engender stability and harmony needed for meaningful socio economic and political development.”
Asked whether ACF still believe that other Nigerians would trust the north with power in view of the activities of Boko Haram, which seem to enjoy the support of some powerful northerners, Sani said, “When you surmise that Nigerians may not trust the North with leadership of this country because of activities of Boko Haram, it is as good as saying the South South should not be trusted with leadership due to high level piracy prevalent in those areas. Or because of baby factory; the corpses found in Ezu River and kidnapping prevalent in South East, Igbo should not be trusted with leadership.”