By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—SOUTH South leader and second republic senator, Senator Francis Okpozo, yesterday, raised an alarm that the recent comments from some Northern leaders who are opposed to the 2011 Presidential aspiration of President Goodluck Jonathan are capable of disintegrating the country and called on the Federal Government to charge these northern leaders for treason.
He specifically mentioned the names of the leader of the Northern leaders political Forum and former Minister of Finance, Adamu Ciroma, and that of elder Statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, as fueling embers of war asserting however that South South leaders “are prepared for any situation that can give us independence in the South; we equally pray that the Northerners should take the same step.”
Okpozo who spoke to Vanguard in an interview in Benin City, argued that President Goodluck Jonathan is better qualified than any of the northern candidates particularly in the area of fighting corruption, reforms in the power, educational sectors and wondered why the duo of Ciroma and Yakassai would engage in “campaign of calumny against President Jonathan who is from the oil producing area.”
According to him, “He (Ciroma) should remember that he has served this country for a long time and being an elder statesman he should not stand in a position to cause what we call a situation of disintegration of this country.
He himself may belong to a political party and he may champion the cause of that political party, but where he is going to dabble into the affairs of other states in the North who are not members of the PDP, organizing governors and individuals in those states to run down Mr President, to create problem between the North and the South, is regarded as treason. It is a situation that can disintegrate this country.
“Ciroma and Yakassai, with their wisdom and what they benefited from the governments they served, should remember that all funds arising from the oil producing states of Nigeria have been used maximally to develop the North.
Today, for over fifty years oil has been the only means of our economy in this country. And it is where President Jonathan comes from that is the major oil producing community, Delta and Bayelsa states.
“When they talk about oil production, all those who ruled this nation undemocratically as President came from the North, excerpt Sir Tafawa Belawa, Shagari and Yar’Adua.”
All of them are from the North. Before you talk of military Presidents in this country, you talk of Abacha, Buhari, Babangida, for so many years the Hausas have been the most beneficiaries of our oil. He should not forget that the cause of militancy in the Niger Delta is as a result of marginalization and this oppression came from the North.
“People from the South are not animals, they are not fools that any body can cheat. People from the South are well educated and they understands the situation in this country.
So it is good for all the Northerners who are collaborating with Ciroma to advise him to stay clear for this situation of anarchy he wants to plunge this nation into if Nigeria has to be one” he declared.