Chairman, Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, on Wednesday, dismissed assumption that Boko Haram was created to frustrate the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and also insinuations that his administration was sponsoring Boko Haram.
Speaking at a programme, tagged: “Media Presentation of Candidate Goodluck Jonathan,” which was packaged by the Office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, Yakassai recalled that Boko Haram came to the Nigerian scene in 2002.
“The impressions that Boko Haram was created to frustrate Jonathan-led administration and that his administration was sponsoring the sect were wrong. Boko Haram came to the Nigerian scene way back in 2002, this was three years into General Obasanjo’s first term in office. Obasanjo was three years in government by the time Boko Haram started.
“The Federal government has nothing to do with Boko Haram and no government will encourage insurgency against itself. Any impression that Boko Haram is created to destabilise Jonathan or is being sponsored by Jonathan is erroneous and wrong,” he said.
Yakassai commended the way Jonathan emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, which he said mirrors what happens in advanced countries of the world. He said the approach was worth emulating. He also commended the acceptance speech delivered by President Jonathan, describing it as issues-based.
He also expressed the appreciation of northerners to Jonathan on his decision to retain Namadi Sambo as VP candidate. “We in the North are so grateful that he decided to retain Sambo as his running mate.”
Earlier, chairman of the occasion and former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Richard Akinjide expressed optimism that President Jonathan would emerge victorious in the 2015 presidential election.
“I am going to make a prediction and that prediction is definitely going to come to pass. That prediction is that we will win,” he said.
Guest speaker at the event, Professor Dupe Olatunbosun compared Jonathan and the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“I have looked at the presidential candidates of the two political parties (PDP and APC) and I intend to compare the two of presidential candidates, because they have both served as presidents of this country,” he said.
“Despite all the challenges facing the administration, Nigeria’s economy has improved to become the number one in Africa, but the problem I have is that the wealth of this country is still in the hands of some few. I see a lot to be done. Corruption needs to be combated in all fronts in our society.
“During the Jonathan-led administration, the Freedom of Information (FoI) bill was passed. We all know that when Buhari was head of state of this country, he did not have the challenges President Jonathan had,” Olatubosun said.