'Northern leaders have a task to keep Nigeria united'

MUYIWA OYINLOLA 11/02/2012 21:12:00

Fiery activist and National Coordinator of Ijaw Monitoring Group, Comrade Joseph Evah in this interview with selected journalists speaks on the activities of the deadly Islamic fundamentally sect, Boko Haram, alleging that the group enjoys the support of some northern leaders and politicians. Muyiwa Oyinlola was there. The American Intelligence Agency has predicted that Nigeria may break up in 2015.

Do you think that the state of the nation at the moment is moving towards that considering the current insecurity in the country?

As it is, there is no doubt that there are people who are in support of this Boko Haram and who want this country to break-up into pieces. And if there is retaliation in other parts of the country by such other groups like the MASSOB, MEND, OPC, Egbesu and others, definitely it will lead to war. Boko Haram has no conscience! Look at the unprovoked attack on the Catholic Church at Madalla in Niger State by the Boko Haram. While the families and relations of the victims were still counting their losses, they struck again in Kano where about 200 people lost their lives. And the same occurred in Bauchi where about 20 people were reportedly killed. Now, they have threatened to launch an attack on Sokoto

We can't afford to wait while our people are being slaughtered like cows. There is a limit to the extent to the extent one can endure. It is the North that is benefiting from the wealth and unity of this country. They need to know this and behave themselves. There is no need fighting over nothing! A better tomorrow, abundance, more united and peaceful Nigeria is possible if we all agree to be in one accord.

How would you task Northern leaders and politicians on Boko Haram?

It's like some Northern leaders and politicians are behind the Boko Haram insurgence. They are there fuelling the crisis. They have failed to bring the crisis under control. Northern leaders and politicians have infiltrated the executive, the judiciary and security agencies and they are the ones fuelling the crisis. The immediate past government and the governors of the Niger--Delta area were able to identify the militants in the South South. Hence, the northern governors ought to have been able to identify the people behind Boko Haram and get the crisis resolved. They can't just be deceiving us. They should come out and speak the truth, nothing but the truth. Northern leaders and politicians cannot claim
ignorance of what is happening in the North.

When militant activities were on in the Niger-Delta, the leaders and elders knew the people causing the problem and they came to a round-table agreement with them, and with that they were able to bring the violence under control. So, the Northern governors, the Vice President, David Mark and others cannot claim ignorance of this Boko Haram. They should go and open channels of discussion with them. It is not possible for President Goodluck Jonathan to go and discuss with their children. That can never be. It is left for the Vice-President, David Mark and Northern governors to go and dialogue with their children for peace to reign.

Don' you think that Boko Haram might be out to overthrow Jonathan and capture power back to the North?

The fact that the president is not from the North is not enough reason run amok killing here and there.
That is not the right way to get back power. And there is no doubt that power is going back to the North once Jonathan completes his four years tenure. He has even stated it clearly that he is not going to contest for second term. And they should not forget that at the moment, the northerners are the ones occupying very important positions in this Jonathan's administration. The Vice President and the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives are from the North. The Head of the Judiciary, the Central Bank Governor, the Minister of Education, and many others are also from the North. Northern leaders should stop fueling the problem because they want to overthrow Jonathan's government, and that cannot be.


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