Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has tactically adopted Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, as president ahead of 2019 by saying that the solution to the violence in the Niger Delta, can only be achieved, if true fiscal federalism is adopted.
Recall, that Atiku was the first northern politician that has been clamoring for restructuring and true federalism, as the panacea to Nigeria’s problems.
Jonathan said this during a meeting with the United States house sub-committee on threats of religious intolerance in Nigeria and the Niger Delta question on Thursday, February 2.
According to a statement by the former president’s media team, Jonathan was invited to speak in his capacity as the chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, GJF.
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.”
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 these 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, NDDC, was not effective due to over politicization.
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