Jonathan finally speaks on IPOB crisis, asks council of state to intervene

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has posted a largely cryptic message on Facebook on “recent developments in the country” and called on the Council of State to intervene.

He posted the message on Friday night following a day of frenetic activities — the military declared Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) a militant terrorist organisation, south-east governors banned the activities of the group in their zone and there was security alert all over the north following the reported killing of Hausa residents in Port Harcourt, River state.

Meanwhile, a military operation, code-named Python Dance II, continues in the south-east, disrupting economic activities in Aba and leading to deaths, destruction and arrests.

The council of state is made up of former heads of state and governors of the 36 states of the federation, as well as heads of security agencies and some government bodies.

Jonathan wrote: “The reports I have received about recent developments in the country lead me to appeal to all men of good will to use whatever influence they have to push for peaceful coexistence and restraint on all sides. Perhaps it is time for the Council of State to intervene and offer its wise counsel. Irrespective of whatever provocation, Nigerians must never turn on each other.

“Even in the face of difficult circumstances, we must have faith that God in His infinite wisdom will guide us to finding a way out that is fair and just to all concerned. In as much as there may be a need to enforce order, there is a greater need to reinforce our humanity and treat Nigerian citizens humanely whether they be from the North or South.

“Nothing justifies the desecration and destruction of religious places of worship or a police station. But even more so, nothing justifies the endangering of human life. Let us exchange ideas instead of exchanging insults and threats. Nigeria is going through tough times because God wants us to grow through tough times. We must be resolute as a people even as we know that it is impossible to deny the brotherhood of all Nigerians after over a century of a shared commonwealth.”

He signed off with his initials, “GEJ”, suggesting that he wrote the post himself.

On Friday, former President Olusegun Obasanjo asked President Muhammadu Buhari to meet with Kanu.

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