The Northern Elders’ Council, NEC, on Wednesday reaffirmed its support for security agencies in their ongoing war against insurgency in the country, describing their efforts as “gallant and heroic“.
The Secretary-General of the council, John Mankilik, stated this when he briefed journalists on the outcome of the joint meeting of the Board of Trustees and National Working Committee of the Council in Abuja.
According to him, the Council pledged its support towards ensuring that the insecurity in the northern part of the country will be a thing of the past in no distant future.
“The Northern Elders Council has expressed satisfaction with and reaffirmed its support for the gallant and heroic members of the armed forces and other security agencies in the conduct of the war against insurgency in the North East.
“It pledged its full support towards ensuring that the insecurity in the North East will be a thing of the past in no distant future,” Mr. Mankilik said.
Mr. Mankilik said the council also congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo for successfully running the affairs of the nation, saying that their working relationship had been exemplary.
He said the meeting recognised the importance and steadfastness of sustaining the historical and political alliances between the people of the North, South-South and South East.
He said that such alliances had over time become the bedrock of the nation’s national stability and continuity of democratic processes.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Council, Tanko Yakasai, has said that the council would soon establish state chapters of the NEC across the 19 Northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Mr. Yakasai stated this after the inaugural meeting of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Council in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Board is under the chairmanship of former Inspector-General of Police, Gambo Jimeta.
He said the council would also commence the process of management, resolution and reconciliation in the northern part of the country in order to bring an end to ethnic and religious problems.
“This is aimed at facilitating effective cohesion of all sections of the North within the context of one united and indivisible Nigeria,” he said
He dismissed the insinuation that the Council was having issues with certain individuals or groups in the North, saying that the ‘‘NEC is not quarrelling with any individual, group or organisation.’’
Mr. Yakasai said the clarification was necessary to clear the air of any insinuation from any quarter that the Council was engaged in squabbles with some individuals or organisations.
He further explained that unlike the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, which was neither political nor partisan, “the NEC is political but non-partisan“.
The elder statesman maintained that “the Council recognises the Arewa Consultative Forum as the umbrella organisation for every Northerner“.
He said, “We don’t quarrel with anybody because of his or her political opinion and we agreed; we decided to be political, non-partisan because the Arewa Consultative Forum is made to be an organisation that would not delve into partisan and political matters.
“This Council is political but non-partisan, we don’t belong to any political party but members of the Council are free to belong to political parties of their choice.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of the BoT, Gambo Jimeta, emphasised that the objectives of the organisation were, like any other, to ensure that peace, unity and tranquillity prevailed in Nigeria.
“The Elders Council out of which the Trustees are formed is purely informed of the need at this time more than ever before for everybody to identify himself with an honourable course of search for peace and stability in our dear land,” he said
He, therefore, appealed to all Nigerians to rally round the Federal Government to ensure peace and tranquilly across the country.
“If we see what is happening in other parts of the world today, it requires all hands on deck in Nigeria to ensure that we leave no room for unnecessary dissent in quarrels and squabbles and that we cooperate with the leadership of the country to ensure that an equilibrium of peace and tranquillity pervades in our motherland.
“Ours is a noble objective of supporting the status quo to achieve the maximum possible for the establishment of peace and tranquillity in our motherland,” he said.