From Muhammad Ibrahim, Kaduna
Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday frowned at a proposed nationwide pro- President Goodluck Jonathan rally ahead of 2015 Presidential election insisting that the current mood of the nation does not call for celebration.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim in Kaduna, the ACF said there was no need for the rally in support of any political office holder because INEC is yet to lift the ban on political rallies as enshrined by provisions of Nigerian constitution and the Electoral Act.
The socio-cultural group was reacting to series of advertisements in both electronic and print media on a planned political rally in the six geo-political zones of the country by Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN), a non governmental organization to garner support for Jonathan in the 2015 elections.
The group said the members of TAN are certainly Nigerians entitled to their fundamental rights of association and free movement in any part of Nigeria as guaranteed in the Nigerian constitution.
But ACF believed that the present mood of the Nation in the face of insecurity challenges of daily attacks on innocent souls by Boko Haram insurgents in the North, ritual killings in the West, kidnappings of prominent persons in the South-South and armed robbery in the East and the sudden entry of Ebola virus into the country through one Mr. Sawyer, calls for sober reflection, prayers to support and confront the challenges rather than the solidarity rally being planned by TAN.
“Northern states have been under siege by the activities of insurgents. Towns and villages are being wiped out, innocent people, including security personnel, are being attacked and killed on daily basis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states that have been under an emergency rule in the last 14 months.
“The Federal and states governments combined efforts in tackling the security challenges is yet to achieve the desired result and some Nigerians are busy planning celebrations.
“The over 200 Chibok girls kidnapped 120 days ago are still in captivity of the Boko Haram insurgents, another 100 young men have recently been kidnapped at Baga, Borno state, young girls are being used as suicide bombers, prominent persons are being killed or kidnapped for ransom.
“Damboa, Gwoza and many towns in Borno and Yobe states are being occupied by insurgents and Ebola virus is taking its toll on those who had primary or secondary contacts with the prime victim.
“The daily killing of security personnel and innocent souls by insurgents, destruction of property and displacement of 400,000 persons due to insurgency the North East coupled with the current health challenges of Ebola virus are all issues of concern to all.
“Nigerians at this time need to unite and support Government efforts in tackling the above menace not solidarity rallies.
“ACF is seriously concerned and worried with the likely security threat and logistic burden such political rally will place on our security personnel that are already over stretched with the issue of terrorist activities nationwide.
“ACF therefore calls on TAN members to be human, sensitive and have a rethink on their planned solidarity rally in the six geopolitical zones and shift it to a more appropriate time especially the ones for Kano, Minna and Gombe for the sake of Nigerians under siege of insurgency and other challenges.
“ACF equally urges politicians and indeed Nigerians to respect and obey the letters of our constitution in all our dealings in order to deepen our democracy, enthrone the rule of law and promote peace, unity and development,” the group said.