From PAUL ORUDE, Bauchi
Former Minister of Establishment and central committee Chairman, North East Forum for Unity and Development (NEFUD) Alhaji Bello Kirfi (Wazirin Bauchi) has threatened that the region would pull out of Nigeria and take their destiny in their hands if the need arose.
Kirfi stated this yesterday in Bauchi during the inauguration of its action committee at the indoor sports Hall Multipurpose Bauchi saying that history would not forgive the region if it allowed their labour to go down the drain. But in reaction to Kirfi, former minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma said it was not only a serious but ambiguous and weighty statement to make.
He added: “As someone who went to the war front and survived it, I must warn that this statement be withdraw immediately.” Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Adamu Ciroma later mounted the podium and announced that the statement had been withdrawn, a move that elicited applause from dignitaries present. And subsequently in compliance, Kirfi swiftly announced the withdrawal of the statement but stressed that it was for the meantime. The planned inauguration of the Action Committees of NEFUD could not hold as six governors of the region boycotted the meeting. General Danjuma explained that the governors’ absence was as a result of their suspicion that the meeting had political undertone rather than to genuinely address the problems bedeviling the sub- region.
“Initially, I was told that all the six governors of the region will attend the inauguration but three days ago, one of them called me and told me that all of them have resolved not to come and even advised me to stay away that there’s a hidden agenda”, he said. He said that based on the advice, he went back to read the minutes of the meetings held by the Forum including the draft speech adding: “I am not in a position to pass judgment but this development has created doubt in my mind regarding the motive of the forum.
I therefore suggest that this meeting should be adjourned immediately and be reconvened later at a later date when we would have been able to persuade the governors to join us in this noble undertaking.” The meeting which was held at the Multi-Purpose Indoor Sports Hall, Bauchi, attracted prominent elders and politicians from the region including Adamu Ciroma, Yayale Ahmed, Professor Jibril Aminu, Nuhu Ribadu, Professor Ango Abdullahi,
Adamu Maina Waiziri, Gen Timothy Shelpidi, three ministers of Abuja, Bunu Sherif, Aliyu B,Modibbo. Others include General Yakubu Usman, Deputy Senate Leader, Abdul Ningi, Senator Aisha Alhassan, former minister of Women Affairs, Inna Ciroma, Emir of Fika, former Education Minister, Alhaji Dauda Brima, among other prominent North- East leaders.
It will be recalled that the meeting was first held on June 13, with the name North East Forum of Concerned Leaders which was later changed to North East Forum for Unity and Development (NEFUD). The forum was worried about the current insecurity and economic underdevelopment of the region and blamed it on marginalisation, corruption among others.