Jonathan Warns Nigeria Against Religious Extremism

Jonathan Warns Nigeria Against Religious Extremism
  • PublishedFebruary 3, 2017

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said if Nigeria does not address religious violence and extremism, the menace will destroy the country.

He said this at a meeting with the United States Congress House Sub Committee on Africa , where he went to speak on the Niger Delta issue and the challenges facing Christians in Nigeria.

Mr Ikechukwu Eze, the former president’s media aide said the meeting was part of efforts of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation to fulfill its mission to promote peace and prosperity in Nigeria and Africa.

In a statement made available to the media, Eze said the former president was invited by the U.S. Congress subcommittee and he spoke in his capacity as Chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation.

Speaking about the Southern Kaduna killings, the former President said failure to apprehend culprits of previous religious killings had emboldened those who engaged in such acts. He noted that if those behind previous violence were not prosecuted then like-minded individuals and groups would be emboldened to repeat the same act.

Mr. Jonathan cited an example of the successful prosecution of terror attack mastermind under his administration: 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.”

On the Niger Delta, the former president declared that the solution to the Niger Delta crisis was already included in the report of the 2014 National Conference, held in Abuja, contending that military action would not solve the agitation in the region, stressing that it would create secessionist groups instead. He said he fully aligned with the views of the 2014 National Conference which called for True and Fiscal Federalism as the way out of agitations in the region and in other parts of Nigeria.

He also said that interventionist agencies like the Niger Delta Development Commission tend not to be effective due to over politicization.

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