By Correspondent Chinyere Ogbonna: The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has advised the Federal Government to vigorously address the security challenges being experienced as a result of the outcome of the presidential election, saying the approach to the present crisis is deplorable.
In a statement signed by the president of the association, Mr Joseph Bodurin, the association says the current crisis questions the unity of Nigeria, and calls for urgent mechanisms to address that concept, adding that there is no point in living in any part of the world where perceived strangers are killed and maimed by their so-called hosts.
The association stated that the current crisis must not be swept under the carpet and declared that the cold blooded murderers must be brought to book and Justice served to the memory of all that untimely lost their lives in the crisis.
The statement adds that if the Federal Government refuses or omit bringing the culprits to justice, the association will be forced to approach the International Criminal Court of Justice for warrants to be issued against the Leaders of organizations that gave platform for these crimes that include mass murder and genocide.
The association described as tragic the aftermath of the presidential election which has claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent Nigerians, who are not of Northern extraction and have been brutally and savagely killed with churches in Katsina, Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi and Yobe burnt down while shops and other businesses of Nigerians referred to as strangers in their own country have been Looted.
The association therefore advised the government to constitute a high powered Commission of inquiry so as to collate the extent of loss of lives and property and every opportunity given to aggrieved or affected persons to speak out in Addition to the commission been empowered to pay compensation for lives and property lost and same be deducted from the accounts of states where the losses or deaths occurred.
Mr Bodurin called for the postponement of governorship elections in the affected states until law and order are fully restored.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has charged members of the Northern Political Summit Group, the G-20 to assist the administration in building the northern part of the country, even as he promised to work closely with its members in his bid to transform the entire country.
The President who made the appeal yesterday, while receiving members of the group who paid him a congratulatory/solidarity visit at the State House, Abuja, noted that it was time to build the country to enviable status.
“Now that the elections are over, this is the time to build and you will be the pillars to build this country, you will be the pillars to drive development especially in the northern part of the country that you know best”, he assured.
In company of his vice, Namadi Sambo and the Director General of their Campaign Organization, Senator Dalhatu Tafida, President Jonathan lauded the commitment of the group for standing by them even, when it was risky to do that.
His words, “On behalf of the vice president, let me sincerely thank the G-20 for this visit but this is not just a visit to congratulate us, we are those to congratulate you because the political evolution that brought us to where we are is well known to all of us. We know when we started, how it started and how you sustained it to the end. If we never had a group like this behind us, I don t think we would have reached where we are today.
“You worked very hard to make sure we dilute the ethnic division in the Nigerian politics and I believe this is the beginning of a new Nigeria. So, what you have done within this period is not just to make Goodluck and Sambo to be the next president and vice president of this country, but your efforts is to recreate Nigeria that all of us will look at our common interest and that is our economy and our survival as a people”.
He also noted that while the campaign was on, the group took time to organize a northern economic summit, expressing delight that the summit made far reaching recommendations to move the northern part of the country forward and assured the G-20 members that his administration would implement the recommendations.
“I am happy that within this period, you even organized a Northern Economic Summit and that is one of the reasons that this group is a group that we all encourage to endure. I am quite happy to be associated with the Economic Summit in Kaduna and basically, your efforts have paid off. The ideas generated at the economic summit are there, in the next four years, we have to see how we will implement that.
“We have no choice, when you were projecting us, others were also projecting other candidates and at the end of for years they will ask you, look at the people you projected, what have they done? If nothing happen, then you have failed the people; then we have failed you and I promise that we will not fail you.
“So, all of us will work and see that within this period, we do what we should do as a nation to develop our people. On behalf of our campaign organization, we thank the G-20 Northern Political Summit Group for your commitment, for your doggedness to get us to where we are. And of course, I assure you once again, that we will work with you to make positive changes in this country”.
Speaking earlier, the leaders of the group, Ambassador Hassan Adamu said the G-20 members asked the President to contest because they knew that that Jonathan/Sambo ticket was unbeatable and chosen by God and therefore, threw their weight behind them.
While reminding the President of his promise during the campaign that he would be a President for all Nigerians, Ambassador Adamu also tasked the people to be good followers if we must collectively realize our dreams of building a great nation.
“We knew at that time that you were chosen by God and at that time also, we knew that nobody will beat your ticket. We pray that may Allah continue to give you and the Vice President the good health and wisdom. During your campaigns you said you will be the President for all Nigerians therefore, it is time for all Nigerians to support you in your quest to transform this country. Therefore, we must be good followers in order for our dreams to come through. In conclusion Mr President, on behalf of our team, we pray and continue to pray for the success of this administration.
Also speaking, former chairman of PDP and member of the G-20, Chief Barnabas Gemade described members of the group as men and women who saw tomorrow. He assured the president and his vice of their continued support, stressing “we will support you the best way we can, better than it has ever happened before in Nigeria. From this day onward, it is going to be joy and happiness for Nigeria”.
Members of the G-20 group in attendance were Professor Jerry Gana, Senator-Elect, Chief Barnabas Gemade, Professor Iya Abubakar, Alhaji Muktar Shagari, Senator Jonathan Zwingina and another Senator-Elect from FCT, Philip Aduda among others.