The Chairman of Northern Elders Council (NEC), Malam Tanko Yakasai, has responded to the article published in the Sunday Sun, by retired Major Mustapha Jokolo, former ADC to General Muhammadu Buhari, All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant, where he (Jokolo) described Vice President Namadi Sambo as political liability.
In a statement made available to SundiataPost on Sunday, Yakasai said refering to Sambo as “political liability stems from deep ignorance, lack of sincerity and mercenary motivation”.
He said looking back at the 2011 presidential elections, where the PDP won the elections convincingly, only confirms the political strength and acceptability of the vice president in his state.
The NEC chairman said it was important to respond to the issues raised by Jokolo, to correct the erroneous impression raised in the article.
The statement read: ”The publication in the Sunday Sun of 26th October 2014 by retired Major Mustapha Jokolo, former ADC to General Muhammadu Buhari, All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant, and now a deposed monarch, in which he made uncomplimentary remarks on my person, the Northern Elders Council (NEC), which I chair and the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo must not go unchallenged, if only for the sake of posterity and political reality.
Given my age, pedigree and political experience, it will be out of place for me to trade words with Mustapha Jokolo whose truncated career as a soldier and deposed traditional ruler render him irrelevant, misguided and frustrated even as he struggles to remain in the limelight.
“His chosen medium to proffer advice on sensitive national issues to President Goodluck Jonathan is most inappropriate and indicative of the mischief that motivated him. By the same token his advisory role should have been made available to his former military master who has thrown his hat into the ring of politics without the required sincere counselling hence his record of failure in each attempt to gain high office.
“It is quite obvious that Jokolo can only add nuisance value to national discourse since he has chosen the easier road to cheap popularity by rumbling incoherently to the press.
“For the sake of posterity, it is important that we set the record straight. The Northern Elders Council, as is contained in our Mission Statement, is our own creation aimed at fostering national unity and peaceful coexistence amongst Nigerians.
“Our membership is spread across all the three geo-political zones in the North. We have, in our fold, tested politicians, technocrats and successful entrepreneurs who are not only patriots, but see Nigeria from the perspective of “One for All, All for One.” Our decision to come together is in pursuit of our fundamental human rights as citizens to form and belong to legitimate associations.
“We are not in competition with any other association. As we all know, socio-cultural organisations are voluntary in nature. They are therefore not elected by the people to pursue a pre-determined agenda but merely serve as pressure group to pursue a defined interest. Even if Jokolo disagrees with our position on national issues, we expect him do that in a reasonable and rational manner.
“I live in Kano and spend all my life in Kano and I must remind Jokolo that I have never been sent in exile. I will however not go into Jokolo’s obsession for breach of laid down laws and procedures which is legendary.
“Even though I do not hold brief for the Vice President, his reference to the Vice President as a political liability stems from deep ignorance, lack of sincerity and mercenary motivation. It is imperative for us to reflect on the results of the 2011 presidential elections, which will further confirm the political strength and acceptability of the Vice President in his state, Kaduna State, where his party, the PDP won the elections convincingly”.