By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor
ABUJA — Northern elders has spurned the benevolence by President Goodluck Jonathan ordering the release of terror suspects from prisons across the region, saying he would at some point in time be made to account for the women and children seized by security agents based on unverified terrorism charges.
The northern elders are miffed that the Federal Government under President Jonathan, allowed innocent women and children, who should be spared even in times of war, to be taken captive and incarcerated in dehumanising conditions for many months without trial.
The elders, who spoke to Vanguard yesterday through their spokesman, Prof Ango Abdullahi, noted
with dismay that the administration had allowed innocent women and children to suffer untold hardship for offences they did not commit.
Abdullahi said: “Let me tell you that what the government did by ordering the release of suspected terrorists was borne out of shame and guilt being suffered by it for clamping innocent women and children into detention camps or what you may call Nigeria’s ‘Guantanamo Bay’, which are scattered all over the place.
“We note with delight that at last common sense has prevailed and the embattled families have regained their freedom. But we hasten to add that this government must account for the women and children from the North, who they took into unwarranted detention.
“As far as we are concerned the release of the so-called terror suspects should have been done long ago as long as this people were not tried or charged.
“To us what the President has done is borne out of embarrassment the government is suffering at home and abroad over the arbitrary detention of innocent women and children. The NEF took very serious exception to the latest threat by militant leader, Dokubo Asari to match the opposition bullet by bullet if Jonathan was not re-elected in 2015, saying that it was a threat to national security.”
In spite of the threat, however, NEF said that while Dokubo did not have the monopoly of war, it
should be clear to him and his sponsors that the country was bigger than a militant leader and his cohorts, who are speaking from both sides of their mouth for pecuniary reasons.
“From the antecedents of Asari Dokubo, we believe that he is making these empty boasts apparently
because of the filthy lucre he is getting from pipeline contracts and the promise of more. But we can bet that he would be the first person to flee to the creeks if the war he is threatening breaks out.
“If not that he is being sponsored by the corridors of power to make this repulsive threat, the best would have been to ignore it as mere ranting of a confused individual looking for cheap gains”