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Northern Leaders Feud Over Boko Haram - David Mark

A serious political cold war has developed between Senate President David Mark and some political elders from Northern Nigeria. Several sources disclosed that the feud centers on Mr. Mark’s charge

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قديم 07-02-2012, 01:54 PM
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تاريخ التسجيل: Apr 2012
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افتراضي Northern Leaders Feud Over Boko Haram - David Mark

A serious political cold war has developed between Senate President David Mark and some political elders from Northern Nigeria. Several sources disclosed that the Feud centers on Mr. Mark’s charge that the political elite in the North had failed to address the Boko Haram insurgency and terrorism.


Speaking on behalf of the Northern Elders Forum, two political figures, Ango Abdullahi, a retired professor, and Tanko Yakassai said that Mr. Mark had ostracized himself from his Northern base. They accused the senator of posturing as a member of a Middle Belt that has not got official recognition as a geo-political zone, adding that Mr. Mark’s intention was to foment division in the North.


Speaking last week in Uyo at a retreat for senators, Mr. Mark underscored the need to “tackle the Boko Haram insurgency before it grounds the region.” He added: “Under-development is obvious in the North. The activities of Boko Haram will not bring development to the North. The people complaining of under-development are the same people causing subsequent under-development through violence. The way the activities of Boko Haram are going at the moment, God forbid, it may lead to the break-up of this country because people will not take it for too long. Therefore, I call on the Northern elders to come out quite frankly and assist in solving this problem.”


Following these comments, Mr. Ango Abdullahi, who is the spokesperson of the elders’ forum, blasted Mark in an interview with a foreign Hausa vernacular station, transcript of which SaharaReporters obtained.
Mr. Abdullahi said, “We are replying David Mark, President of the Senate, because he was biased and not honest in his take on failure to overcome the Boko Haram insurgency. What he said is false. He is the third person in Nigeria and second in the North and yet he is accusing us of doing nothing on Boko Haram. He was to say all of us [along] with him had failed but he removed himself and blamed us for the Boko Haram issue.

If he is saying that he is not a Northerner, there is no problem and now we know where he stands. He has also failed to organize a meeting and means of approaching this challenge as number three and second in the North. All we know is our traditional rulers and religious Leaders of JNI and CAN are working and it is him that failed, and wants to create more division in the region.”


Meanwhile, the Middle Belt Forum has fired back in defense of Mr. Mark. In a statement issued in Abuja and signed by its national leader, Jonathan Asake, the forum decried the “unfortunate, unjustified and disrespectful comments against the person and office of the Senate President, Sen. David Mark.” Mr. Asake said Yakassai, Ango Abdullahi and Comrade Shehu Sani had exhibited their intolerance, lack of respect and disregard for the person and office of the senate president to the extent that Yakassai lost all his sense of decorum, referring to the senate president as ‘a fool.’”
The Middle Belt Forum argued that the likes of Yakassai should have taken time “to soberly ponder and reflect on the dispassionate, patriotic and courageous remarks made by the senate president which found national approval and commendation.”


Mr. Asake’s statement said his forum identified with Mr. Mark’s observations and comments in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. He accused many Northern Leaders of continuing to pretend and to play “the proverbial ostrich” in the face of ferocious bombings by Boko Haram and the slaughter of innocent and defenseless people especially of Christians in their churches.


“The harsh comments stemming from the likes of Yakassai is a clear pointer to complicity either directly or indirectly, or at least an endorsement of the subversive activities of the Islamist group, to undermine the sovereignty of Nigeria and rubbish Jonathan's presidency,” said the Middle Belt Forum. The Forum then called on President Jonathan to courageously tackle the issue of Boko Haram attacks, asserting that their sponsors were deliberately determined to dislocate the minorities of the North who gave him the Northern votes that saw him to the presidency.”



Northern Leaders Feud Over Boko Haram - David Mark


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