The former presidential candidate said this in a statement on Friday.
A former presidential candidate, Bashir Tofa, has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to learn from history over the ongoing feud between him and the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
Various incidents of violence have occurred in Rivers with many linking them to the political feud between the president and the Rivers governor. The presidency has insisted Mr. Jonathan is not a party to the crisis.
Mr. Tofa, who issued a statement on Friday in Kano, said “what is happening in Rivers State is clearly very dangerous, not only to the lives of Governor Amaechi, may be even his family and others, but to the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria”.
The Kano based politician also said “one wonders where else from Bayelsa and Rivers? Will Jigawa, Sokoto, Oyo, Adamawa and Edo be next? This dangerous trend must be stopped immediately.
“The President must know that he is treading on a very dangerous course, and he needs to be advised for his own sake.”
He said that even though President Jonathan may be a good man at heart, “he seems to be a very week leader, who just does what some hirelings close to him ask him to do or, may be, even do without his consent, but cannot say or do anything to call them to order”.
You won’t be president forever
Mr. Tofa, the candidate of the National Republican Convention in the 1993 presidential election, said there must be a few people around the president, “who must summon the courage to tell him the truth, one of which is that the day will surely come when he will no longer be the President, in just a few years time, and the law will then catch up with him.”
“We have seen many much more powerful world leaders who are now in prison over issues of murders of opponents, corruption and human rights abuses. We do not want to see any of our past leaders in the dock, either here at home or in The Hague for any reason.
“I used to think, and even said it publicly, that President Jonathan, may be anything but a dictator or an evil man, seeing the criticisms and, sometimes even the rubbish being thrown at him, without him responding angrily. I myself have criticized him a few times, hoping he will take heed, and hopefully he does,” Mr. Tofa said.
“If, for whatever reason, someone dies in Rivers State as a result of this unfortunate fracas, the President cannot escape liability, even if it is vicarious. We witnessed what happened to the former Governor of Bayelsa, H. E. Mr. Sylva Timpere, out of this personal vendetta; and we have seen what happened at the Nigerian Governors Forum, just to project self interest.
“Most people blame the President and his First Lady for fermenting these rather un-presidential behaviours. The President must begin to act as the President, above these fetish things, and do away with visiting vengeance or calamity on those he was told that do not support him. He may have enemies even in his own house, and he has to find a wiser way of dealing with situations like that,” he added.
Mr. Tofa said many Nigerians would consider the happenings now to determine whether or not to support the president in future. He said the Rivers crisis could have an eventual effect on Nigeria’s young democracy.
“Forget about the President’s records, or whether he will end up in a certain Court of law somewhere. What if he drags us and this democracy into the abyss out of which we cannot escape?
“Please, Mr. President, recollect yourself, be strong and be the leader that we all expect you to be. Triviality And vengeance are not the food of leaders, but that of fools,” Mr. Tofa said.