Lawmaker lambasts Jonathan over 2011 Post Election Largesse

bitrus-kazeBy Ewache Ajefu

Mr. Bitrus B. Kaze, a member of the House of Representatives representing Jos South-Jos East Federal Constituency has taken a swipe at the recent pronouncement by the presidency where some states in the north got sums of money to redress post-election violence during the 2011 general elections stating that Plateau was left out afterall.

The lawmaker in a statement made available was of the view that the funds may not reach the real the victims of the violence, adding that Plateau state that supported Mr. President fully in the elections despite the killings got nothing!

Full statement reads :

“Recently, the Federal Government of Nigeria announced compensation to States affected by the post elections violence. According to a report on the Post Elections Violence published in May 2011 by the Human Rights Watch, the killings occurred “in the northern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.” While Katsina, Bauchi, Kano, Niger, Adamawa, Jigawa, Zamfara, Sokoto and Akwa Ibom got various sums in that order, Borno, Gombe, Yobe
and Kaduna got nothing.

“The Sheik Ahmad Lemu Presidential Panel on Post Elections Violence acknowledged the fact that Gen Muhammadu Buhari’s “provocative utterances” were “misconstrued by many voters to
include recourse to violence.” Interestingly, Katsina, Gen Buhari’s home State got about two billion naira, the highest. Bauchi State, where the pioneer leader of the dreaded Boko Haram sect the Late
Mohammed Yusuf planted and nurtured the seed of the terrorism got over one billion, five hundred million naira, the second highest. Akwa Ibom State, which hitherto was never heard of among States
where the post elections violence occurred, became beneficiary of the Presidential largesse.

Unfortunately, it is not clear what criteria will be used to ensure that the monies effectively reach the victims. Put differently, the victims of the post elections violence are at the mercy of the benefitting
States governments, most of them are non-natives of the States were the post-election violence was perpetrated and have been forced to relocate.

“Media reports also say President Goodluck Jonathan has offered the federal government’s assistance to Borno State to rebuild Baga, a border town in the state in which 200 people were killed in a gun duel between troops of the Multinational Task Force and Boko Haram insurgents. Whereas both the Defense Headquarters and the office of the National Security Adviser made averments to the effect that it was the insurgents that triggered and perpetrated the violence in Baga Borno State; in the Plateau State for example, in Dogo Na Hawa alone over 500 innocent lives of mostly women and children were destroyed in cold blood overnight in March 2010 without any of provocation whatsoever, this is in addition to billions of Naira worth of properties.

“Yet, since the formation of the Security Task Force in January 2009 to curb violence on the Plateau, the Government of President Goodluck Jonathan has not offered a dime in aid the State that has endured internecine violence for years. Repeated massacres and invasions by mercenaries among whom are foreign nationals armed with sophisticated weapons have led to unquantifiable losses on the Plateau including the brutal murder of a serving Senator and Member of the State Assembly, Dr Gyang Dalyop Dantong and Hon Gyang Fulani respectively.

“It stands every sense of reasoning on its head as to why the Presidential largesse was restricted only to States where post elections violence was perpetrated. We will not grow weary of telling the world that Plateau State gave President Goodluck the highest percentage of votes compared to any State in the whole North, it is inexplicably painful trying to fathom any logic behind his repeated decisions to pay Plateau State in very bad coins.

“We are tempted to believe that this gesture could be in furtherance of Mr. President’s attempt to appease the North who it must be maintained, will never support his re-election ambition in the long
run. If President Goodluck is truly desirous of placating the North, all he needs do is to abandon his re-election ambition or better still step aside and handover power to a far Northerner, nothing else will
impress the core north more. In the meantime our people have continued to be discriminated upon and are paying daily with their lives.

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