Nigeria Should Be Restructured–Jonathan

By Ikenga Chronicles February 3, 2017

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday backed Atiku Abubakar and other eminent Nigerians by adopting restructuring and true federalism as the way out of ethnic and religious crisis in Nigeria.

Recall that Atiku was the first recent northern politician to clamour for restructuring and true federalism as the panacea to Nigeria’s problems.

Jonathan said this during a meeting with the United States House of Representatives sub-committee on threats of religious intolerance in Nigeria and the Niger Delta question.

According to a statement by the former president’s media aide,  Jonathan was invited to speak in his capacity as the chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation.

He also identified impunity as a factor which had contributed to the reoccurrence of such violence, noting that if those behind previous violence were not prosecuted, people of like mind and groups would be emboldened to repeat the same act.

Jonathan talked about his efforts to end impunity, specifically citing the case of Kabiru Sokoto, the mastermind of the Christmas Day bombing of Saint Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger state who was arrested, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned by his administration and was the first successful prosecution of a terrorist attack on a place of worship in Nigeria’s history.

He said: “That promise was fulfilled on the 20th of December 2013 when Kabiru Umar, aka Kabiru Sokoto, was sentenced to life imprisonment after my administration investigated that crime, identified him as the mastermind, arrested him and diligently prosecuted him and some of his associates.”

Jonathan also noted that his administration’s prosecution of the perpetrators of the deadly bombing of an office of the Independent National Electoral Commission also in Madalla on April 8, 2011 was the first successful prosecution of terrorists in Nigeria.

While supporting the 2014 National Conference’s recommendation for an Independent Religious Equity Commission to be set up to apprehend and arrest perpetrators of ethnic and religious violence, Jonathan maintained that ending impunity would also mean ending the tension associated with the unending impunity in the country.

On the Niger Delta, the former President said he fully aligned with the views of the 2014 National Conference which called for true and fiscal federalism as the way out of agitation in the region and in other parts of Nigeria as interventionist agencies like the Niger Delta Development Commission was not effective due to over politicization.

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