PDP backs Jonathan on JTF stay in Borno, Yobe

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The ruling party has challenged Borno elders to commit themselves to peace.

Nigeria’s ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP has thrown its weight behind President Goodluck Jonathan’s offer to withdraw the military Joint Task Force, JTF, from Borno state only if elders of the state commit to an undertaking making them responsible for further killings and destruction by the Boko Haram sect.

The party said in a statement on Sunday, the position of the president clearly shows his “forthrightness and great concern” for the safety of Nigerians including those living in Borno and other troubled spots in the country.

The party commended the president for his approach to extremism in northeast states, and assured that it deeply shares the concerns of Borno elders on the need for peace to return to the state, to enable social and economic activities.

“We commend the President for his humane approach and for his unrelenting commitment to the improved welfare of Nigerians”, the statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh said.

“The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP fully aligns with the challenge of President Goodluck Jonathan to the Borno elders on their responsibility vis-a-vis the withdrawal of the military Joint Task Force, JTF.

The president’s visit to Yobe and Borno states last week, his first since taking office, has continued to elicit reactions. While in the two states, Mr. Jonathan rejected suggestion for amnesty for Islamist militants, and vowed to retain soldiers in the two states except their elders commit to ensuring an end to violence.

The ruling party challenged the elders in Borno to take to up the challenge.

“This is a direct challenge to all of us, especially those from the troubled areas to rise to the occasion and re-engage dispassionate avuncular responsibilities in genuine search for peace,” the party’s statement said.

We feel their pain

PDP said while it understands the worries of Borno elders over the insurgency and its implications for the life of the people, it deems it necessary that the elders reflect on their positions as instruments for restoring peace as stated by the president.

The party also commended the president for his “heart to heart” discussion with elders of Borno and Yobe states, and for sparing time to visit some orphanages.

“The President was not in Borno and Yobe for photo-ops and showmanship as did the Governors of the opposition APC who cooed in the streets of Maiduguri and boasted in the media to invite attention to themselves. The President was on a genuine mission for peace and development.”

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