Northern leaders visit Jonathan, accuse JTF of human rights abuses

Prominent leaders from the north, under the aegis of Northern Elders Forum, (NEF), met with President Goodluck Jonathan late Wednesday at the Aso Rock Villa where they condemned the activities of the Joint Task Force in states across the north, accusing them of gross human right abuses and escalating the insecurity situation in the region.

The spokesperson of the group, Yusuf Maitama Sule, said although northern leaders are appalled by the activities of the Boko Haram sect, they a “equally concerned about the behaviour of the security personnel, especially of soldiers deployed throughout the North to preserve peace and protect
lives and property.”

The most charitable interpretation of their mode of operation is unprofessionalism,” he said.

The NEF accused the JTF of summary executions, especially in Maiduguri, the hotbed of the crisis.

“In Maiduguri alone, available records indicate the figures of those that were killed by the JTF to be in the thousands, most of whom were first apprehended/arrested before they were extra judicially executed”.

Mr. Sule also accused the JTF of arson and destruction of people’s properties in the name of fighting Boko Haram.

“In the past fortnight alone, the JTF has razed to the ground not fewer than fifty houses in the neighbourhood of Shehuri North, Korongoso and Abbaganaram Wards of Maiduguri. And lately, they similarly burnt many houses and executed a number of people, not far from the Governor’s
family house because an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was set off  nearby”.

Mr. Sule added that records at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, indicates that between the months of December and January 2011 alone, the JTF had executed over six hundred and thirty five people.

The elders said that “There have been many similar incidences in several parts of the North such as Kano, Damaturu, Gombe, Azare, Mubi etc”.

The group also spoke about, inciting remarks by persons close to the government, and “many other national issues which are capable of disrupting our national unity and development”.


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  • KenMani

    Anybody who thinks Nigeria should continue as it is today after Jonathan must have his head examined. Can you imagine these blood thirsty Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani so called born to rule elders complaining about JTF without mentioning anything about over forty two thousand Christians killed by Boko Haram in churches alone not to mention the number killed in various places in the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani States. They did not even talk about the genocide they are carrying out in the Middle Belt. They only want JTF to give way so that they can kill freely and without any hindrance.

    • Islam

      of course you should have your head examine…. did you hear them speak about religion not the region? haven’t you heard the inciting remarks by CAN president? Did you ask yourself how in number of times Christian are apprehended trying to plant bomb not the Muslims? As it happened in delta, cocin church of bauchi, augustin effiong of buk bomb, jos bomber a christian, the woman caught in tsafe of zamfara state with guns, samuel eze caught by the dcop of Ghana trying to import guns…..the list goes on…. we are all into it. Do you know that the number of Muslims killed surpasses that of christians?

      • Azeez

        Of course that guy is slightly deranged or deliberately irritating. These are old men and women across religious boarders coming together to find a way out for the region in good faith. Yet out of prejudice, the guy is attacking a certain section. Has he not seen Paul Unongo, Pauline Tallen, John Wash Pam (all Christians) among the group? I really believe those of us that have little understanding or those of us whose sanity level is tainted should refrain from partaking in serious public discourses. At what point does terrorism acquire a religion? And if it has, what do we call non Muslims that are daily arressted in connection with attacks and attempts at attacks? Do we justifiably call them Christian terrorists? Reasonably, just the way capitalism does not have a religion, so does terrorism not have a religion. Perhaps he has not heard of Effiong who killed all those innocent fellows in BUK, or John Akpagu who walked into the venue of a ministerial gathering carrying explosive substances, or the nine chaps arrested in attempt to blast their own COCIN Church in Bauchi, or the Bayelsa Xtian young man that attempted to blow up a church while dressed in Islamic attire, or the Igbos who shot down 12 fellow Igbo Xtians in a church in Yola. Please let’s try to update our knowledge of current affairs to be able to debate from sufficiently informed points of view.

    • Ade

      this ken or whatever he is should be examine for schizophrenia because it is only a mad man in the real sense of the word can be commenting like this,I command you to as a matter of urgency indeed it is am emergency that you must see a psychiatrist unfailingly.

  • KenMani

    Anybody who thinks Nigeria should continue as it is today after Jonathan must have his head examined. Can you imagine these blood thirsty Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani so called born to rule elders complaining about JTF without mentioning anything about over forty two thousand Christians killed by Boko Haram in churches alone not to mention the number killed in various other places in the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani States. They did not even talk about the genocide they are carrying out in the Middle Belt. They only want JTF to give way so that they can kill freely and without any hindrance. I am fully aware that killing Southners give the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani a lot of joy and they are of the view that nothing can happen particularly after they killed Ironsi and Abiola and nothing seem to have happened. In fact, they are so confident that nothing will happpen if they continue killing Southners to the extent that they are now announcing the killings in advance. Buhari recently announced that the killing of Southners in 2015 will be the heaviest and the worst ever.

    • adenle

      You never commented on the killing by your brothers and sisters in Cross River some days ago.I can see your stereotype for the Hausa/fulani and the Yoruba.I can also identify that you are of minority group from the North.I also notice your hatred for Islam.Well,my advice for you is that you may not end well if you continue with this altitude!

    • Azeez

      Of course that guy is slightly deranged or deliberately irritating. These are old men and women across religious boarders coming together to find a way out for the region in good faith. Yet out of prejudice, the guy is attacking a certain section. Has he not seen Paul Unongo, Pauline Tallen, John Wash Pam (all Christians) among the group? I really believe those of us that have little understanding or those of us whose sanity level is tainted should refrain from partaking in serious public discourses. At what point does terrorism acquire a religion? And if it has, what do we call non Muslims that are daily arressted in connection with attacks and attempts at attacks? Do we justifiably call them Christian terrorists? Reasonably, just the way capitalism does not have a religion, so does terrorism not have a religion. Perhaps he has not heard of Effiong who killed all those innocent fellows in BUK, or John Akpagu who walked into the venue of a ministerial gathering carrying explosive substances, or the nine chaps arrested in attempt to blast their own COCIN Church in Bauchi, or the Bayelsa Xtian young man that attempted to blow up a church while dressed in Islamic attire, or the Igbos who shot down 12 fellow Igbo Xtians in a church in Yola. Please let’s try to update our knowledge of current affairs to be able to debate from sufficiently informed points of view.

  • KenMani

    Anybody who thinks Nigeria should continue as it is today after Jonathan must have his head examined. Can you imagine these blood thirsty Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani so called born to rule elders complaining about JTF without mentioning anything about over forty two thousand Christians killed by Boko Haram in churches alone not to mention the number killed in various other places in the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani States. They are only concerned about their people who are still alive, only that their houses were destroyed; they are not concerned about over two million Southerners that they have been killed and over two trillion Naira of properties of Southerners destroyed. Even this claim of destruction of Hausa-Fulani houses are false; only Boko Haram hideouts were sealed off not destroyed as they are now falsely claiming. They did not even talk about the genocide they are carrying out in the Middle Belt. They only want JTF to give way so that they can kill freely and without any hindrance. I am fully aware that killing Southners give the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani a lot of joy and they are of the view that nothing can happen particularly after they killed Ironsi and Abiola and nothing seem to have happened. In fact, they are so confident that nothing will happpen if they continue killing Southners to the extent that they are now announcing the killings in advance. Buhari recently announced that the killing of Southners in 2015 will be the heaviest and the worst ever.

  • Sule

    How many times will these people visit GEJ? They ought to have their heads examined. For once, let them think of how to better the living condition of their people — the northerners.

    • Azeez

      How many times have GEJ’s cousins-the Clarkes and Dokubo’s visited him? Is he President for the Ijaw? Guess YOU are the one in urgent need of psychotheraphy. Are the southerners not the ones so far caught with explosives attempting to carry out attrocities in the North? I am yet to hear of any core northerner arrested as such. Pls learn to respect elders.

      • Sule

        Oga Azeez: Let’s discuss intelligently. I don’t care where Jonathan comes from; he needs to perform. If Northern leaders truly love their people, they will sit down, flush out Boko Haram people from their midst, establish good schools, hospitals, etc., for their people. I guarantee you: they are in Abuja for their own selfish interests and power grab.That is how GEJ and OBJ were able to penetrate their ranks.

        • maburuk

          if only you know whom yusuf maitama sule is……….. you will not rush to the conclusion of accusing them of selfish interests . whatever your opinion is, i will like to let you know the misconduct of the JTF is true.
          i am sorry if you find my reply insulting.

  • Easy-E

    These guys are jabbing their fingers at the JTF. The problem began with the heightened activities of the sect and will only end when there are no more bombings. As a group, when have they sat down with the sponsors of the militant sect to find a way to bring an end to their insurgency? I guess never! Please do not tell me that they are all completely oblivious of who these militants are, it would be insulting to our intelligence.

    The JTF are trying to restore order. The fact that these people are crying to the President, to me suggests that the strategy is working. The JTF should intensify their activities until the cold blooded murderers are brought to their knees. I have seen video clips of people like N. Rufai salivating at the thought of the country descending into anarchy claiming that it is some sort of revolution. This sort of people make me sick to the pit of my stomach. They are the sorts of people who would happily contribute to keep the insurgency going for their own selfish political ends.

  • Easy-E

    I can see a pattern developing here. All the ills of the North are being blamed on the Christians. They are Boko Haram, they bomb their own churches they bomb News Papers, and selectively assassinate ordinary southerners for no reason. Please grow up and take some responsibility!

  • shorebattery

    The Northern leaders are speaking from both sides of their mouth! Security operatives are no magicians and neither are they spirits to know who the Boko Haram members are. The cowardly Boko Haram members would unleash their spate of terror and then disappear to mix with supposedly innocent members of the population. And yet the terror originated from the focus or epicentre of those places where these supposedly innocent members of the population reside. Security operatives had begged, pleaded, cajoled and appealed to members of the public to help in locating these evil members of the society. What the northern leaders and the supposedly innocent members of the population reply is that Islam does not preach or encourage the killing of human beings! Is that what you expect the security operatives to use in fighting terror? Is that statement a means of tracking down members of the Boko Haram? The northern elders are only shooting themselves in the foot and turning round to blame the security operatives of carrying out extra-judicial killings. Do you expect the security operatives to just sit there and allow these devils to be pumping bullets on them and other members of the society? Look, the Boko Haram have opened up a theatre of a near-war situation and whatever happens in that circumstance is attributed to what happens in a battlefield. Period! Since the supposedly innocent civilians are hiding the Boko Haram and then expecting to be spared by the security operatives who happened to have an inkling as to the probable place of abode of the Boko Haram, then the supposedly innocent civilians should take whatever happens to them as part of a war situation. Maitama Sule should tell us what he would have done were he a member of the security operatives, since he has arrogated to himself the all-knowing stance as it concerns belligerence of this type.

  • Biggy

    I am a little worried about the fact the the government has sanctioned these talks. These people do not need the government permission to speak to BH. I can only hope that this does not in any way disrespect the memory of the innocents who have been savagely killed for no just cause. If it does, I will be calling for the head of the President himself. Just to clarify, I will lose all respect for him support another person for the President in 2015 [not one of the blood thirsty Northern sectarians].