Council of State seeks support to end insurgency by December

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*Says discriminatory practices by states must stop, sets up c’ttee
*Boko Haram does not represent Islam
*FG not responsible for attack on Buhari, Bauchi—Dasuki

By Ben Agande

Abuja — The National Council of State, yesterday, resolved that every support would be extended to the President and the nation’s security services to ensure that the activity of the Boko Haram sect is brought to an end by December.

Addressing State House correspondents after the meeting of the council in Abuja, yesterday, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, said the Boko Haram sect does not represent Islam or any religion for that matter and must be defeated.

The council also resolved that discriminatory practices by state governments on the basis of state of origin must be stopped forthwith.

Governor Aliyu, who was flanked by the governors of Akwa Ibom and Enugu states, Godswill Akpabio and Sullivan Chime respectively and the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, said the National Council of State also resolved that leaders must be wary of making inflammatory statements that are capable of heightening tension in the country.

On discriminatory practices by states
Speaking on the council’s position on the discriminatory practices being carried out in the states, the governor said a committee had been set up to explore ways of amending the constitution to do away with indigeneship dichotomy in the country.

He said: “It came to the fore (at the meeting) that if there is any threat to either the state or democracy,  probably the threat is coming from politicians and leaders of the country. We must understand the boundaries of leadership and also the responsibilities that are involved. Leadership is not about beauty contest. In leadership, you must take difficult decisions and really go about implementing them.

“All these things came to the fore at the meeting and subsequently, each of us made it a deliberate resolution,  bi-partisan or non-partisan, to support the President to make sure that we get rid of this insurgency before December.”

According Dr Babangida Aliyu, members of the Boko Haram sect are not representatives of Islam but people whose understanding of religion is warped and must be stopped.

Discriminatory practices by states must stop
Expatiating further  the National Council of State’s position on discriminatory practices against Nigerians in states other than their  state of origin, Governor Godswill Akpabio of  Akwa Ibom State  said the council viewed the issue with serious concern and directed that the practice must be stopped forthwith.

He said: “One of the most important things we took up at the meeting today was the issue of how Nigerians can actually be Nigerians in their country and feel free to live and do their businesses without molestation.

“The issue of indegenship, the issue of deportation or return of Nigerians from any part of the country to their various states were discussed. Council viewed the report seriously that some citizens were being deported.

Deportation should be from one country to the other but where you have a Nigerian who is being returned to his state of origin from other states, then you know there is a problem. We felt that that was capable of distruipting the unity of the country, making Nigerians to become apprehensive and unsafe.

“Also council frowned at the idea of even registering  Nigerians in various parts of the country and felt this must be brought to an end immediately.

“So we looked at all these issues and the role every leader should play from the local government level to the federal level. The role each one of us should play to ensure that we solidify the unity of this country.
“We also looked at this discriminatory practices across board from all parts of the country, north, south, west and the east and we felt all those issues must be brought to the front burner, solutions proffered to ensure that Nigerians are united, live freely and do their businesses without hinderance.”

Sets  up c’ttee on discriminatory practices

He said the council set up a committee to further discuss with Nigerians and identify discriminatory practices in all states of the federation and in all the local government areas and submit report to council in the next two months.

He said upon receipt of the report of the committee, the National Council of State would determine the best option to stop the discriminatory practice.

He said: “Whether we need to go to the National Assembly then we will go to National Assembly. Whether we need to do so through policies at federal, state or local government levels just to make sure that the country is totally united and all those discriminatory practices are brought to an end so that Nigerians can truly feel free and safe to work in any part of the country without hinderance.”

Members of the  committee include the governors of  Niger, Sokoto, Enugu, Gombe, Akwa Ibom and Ondo states.

Governor Akpabio said the committee is to look into complaints by some people that they are unable to getting certificate of occupancy to build mosques or church.

FG not responsible for attack on Buhari, Bauchi

On his part, the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, refuted claims that the Federal Government was responsible for the recent attack on a former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari and a Muslim cleric, Dahiru Bauchi.

Dasuki noted that the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, had threatened to attack Buhari as far back as February.

Shekau, in a video released by the terrorist group, had referred to Buhari and some other northern and Muslim leaders as infidels, promising to deal with them.

“We said something about the attack on Buhari and Sheik Dahiru Bauchi. There was a threat as far back as February this year issued by Shekau calling them infidels by name and position, saying they were in trouble and they were going to see.

“Well, the government was not responsible, and if you say that the government was responsible in the case of General Buhari, why don’t you say the same in the case of Sheik Dahiru Bauchi?” the NSA asked rhetorically.

He saidthe accusations against the government were made “because it is what sells the paper.

“That is the most unfortunate thing. And we want say that it was not only General Buhari, there were others mentioned too.”

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