AREWA MEET WITH PRESIDENT
By Ahamefula Ogbu
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) Wednesday night closed ranks with President Goodluck Jonathan to tackle insecurity, especially the issue of Boko Haram which has nearly brought the economy of Northern Nigeria economy to its knees.
Chairman of ACF, Lt General Jeremiah Useni, said the body was ready to work with the Federal Government to address the issue, adding that their forum was not “a small body” to take their word lightly.
He particularly expressed happiness that the government had agreed to dialogue with the group and assured that all would soon be well.
"We always advise the government; we represent the North and we are a very strong group. Our happiness is that the Federal Government has agreed to dialogue with the group. It is not a new thing even when you are fighting with somebody you have to sit down one day to talk," he said.
Asked of his view on the comment by General Muhammadu Buhari that there will be bloodshed if the 2015 election was rigged, Useni replied: "I cannot speak for them. I don't know why they said so. God determines everything. God determines even our tomorrow, even tonight".
He however disagreed that there was a problem or war between the government and Buhari and explained that disagreeing with each other did not translate to war.
"I don't think there is any war going on… if you say anything and I disagree with you does not mean we are fighting. We are not fighting anybody," he insisted.
Also responding to questions, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said that ACF pledged to work with the government on tackling Boko Haram and was available to cooperate on any issue they were consulted on.
He explained that the ACF had already taken certain initiative and has set up a committee on the issues which recommendations would be made available to the government when ready.
He said Jonathan assured them that the doors of his administration were open to them and was ready to cooperate with them in whatever way possible.