Offline furtune

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« on: December 03, 2008, 03:11:16 PM »
Plateau State Governor, Mr. Jonah Jang, on Tuesday visited the Presidential Villa, Abuja, ostensibly to confer with President Umaru Yar’Adua on the recent two-day mayhem in Jos.

He arrived in the villa when Yar’Adua was presenting the 2009 budget at the National Assembly, but waited until he returned.

A source told our correspondent that the governor could not see the President as he was directed to confer with Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan.

The development came against the backdrop of a report that Yar’Adua had on Monday, stopped Jang from inaugurating the newly elected Local Government Chairmen in the state.

The council poll that produced the chairmen and councillors sparked the violence that led to the deaths of over 300 people and maiming of thousands.

State House correspondents who laid seige on him were later told by a Presidency source that the governor had left.

Before Jang arrived at the villa, he had denied reports that Yar’Adua stopped him from inaugurating the council chiefs on Tuesday.

He said he took the decision out of his concern and respect for the hundreds of people who died in the violence.

Jang, who spoke through his Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Dan Manjang, said,“It is true that the swearing-in of the elected chairman and their councillors today(Tuesday) was suspended, but I want to deny the assertion that it was done at the prompting of The Presidency.”

But just as more condemnation trailed the fracas, the Northern Governors’ Forum described it as a setback to northern stability and called for the prosecution of those involved in it.

The 19-member forum, headed by the Niger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, said it was pained that the violence which led to the deaths of more than 300 people, occurred at a time the region was enjoying relative stability.

It, however, lauded the Federal Government’s efforts at restoring peace to the city and called on “well-meaning people to be law abiding and avoid any act that will further threaten their peaceful co-existence.

A statement on Monday by the Secretary to the Government of Niger State, Dr. Muhammed Yahaya, on behalf of governor Aliyu reads, “This crisis is highly unfortunate coming at this period when the nation is beginning to experience stable political and peaceful co-existence especially in the North.”

“It is unfortunate that in this 21st century we are still witnessing such violence in our quest for justice, peace and development. This we cannot afford.

“Regardless of the individuals’ background, religious and/or political affiliations, those found to be responsible for the Jos brutal and immoral attacks on our people should be brought to justice according to the laws of the land.”

Others that flayed the mayhem were the Plateau State House of Assembly, the Supreme Council for Sharia‘ah in Nigeria, Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria and Oyo State Governor Bayo Alao-Akala.

The Assembly, in a resolution at the end of its sitting in Jos, called on Christians and Muslims in the state to imbibe the spirit of tolerance.

The resolution, which was signed by the Speaker, Mr. Emmanuel Go’ar, commended the Federal and the Plateau State governments for their prompt intervention in forestalling the spread of the crisis.

It also praised the Army, the Police, the Air Force and other security agencies that brought the violence under control.

In Kaduna, the SCSN and the CAN urged the Federal Government to bring the perpetrators of the killings to book.

They said that a firm action on the sponsors of the crisis would serve as deterrent to others in future.

”We demand that the Federal Government and the National Assembly should summon the courage to go beyond high sounding pious pronouncements and undertakings by addressing the root cause of the serial massacres in Plateau State, ” the Secretary -General, Malam Nafi‘u Baba-Ahmad, said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Three governors— Ikedi Ohakim(Imo), Alhaji Namadi Sambo(Kaduna) and Bayo Alao-Akala(Oyo) also spoke on the violence on Tuesday.

Ohakim, who was in the State House for a meeting with Yar’Adua ruled out the possibility of reprisal attacks against Muslims or other northerners in the South-East .

He said that he had met with the traditional rulers in the zone on Tuesday morning to sue for peace in their communities.

The governor said,“That (reprisals) will not happen. This (Tuesday) morning I spoke with my colleague in Plateau State and heads of traditional rulers in the South-East. We are going round to tell the people that look the Jos violence was not targeted at anybody and we are on top of the situation. “

On his part, Sambo called on Nigerians to ensure that the crisis did not spill-over to other parts of the country.

Speaking to newsmen after a meeting with the President, he said, “Thank God there has not been any spill-over and the crisis has been contained.

“We prayed that this country will continue to have peace and we call on everybody to ensure that we do not allow this development to spill to other parts of the country as we have witnessed today”.

Alao-Akala expressed shock at the loss of lives in Jos and cautioned other interest groups not to make statement that could further escalate the crisis.

He said he had spoken with Jang,who assured him of protection of non-indegenes residing in Jos.

The governor called on Oyo State indigenes in Jos to be calm and to cooperate with all efforts to bring the situation to normal.

Meanwhile, the AC has called on the President to order the cancellation of the poll in Plateau State as a sign of respect for those that died in the Jos mayhem.

``Allowing the results of the elections to stand is like staging a dance on the graves of those innocent souls. President Yar’Adua should therefore show rare courage by also stopping the results.’’ it said.


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« on: December 03, 2008, 03:11:16 PM »

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