Asaba Declaration: Group Demands End to Attack on Senate President
A group, known as Advocates of the Garb (AOG), has condemned what it believes are attacks of the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmed Lawan for speaking against the position taken by governors of the Southern states of Nigeria during their meeting at Asaba, Delta State, recently.
The group, in a press statement issued and signed by its Chairman, Joshua Thomas and Secretary, Musa Rabilu wondered why the Speaker of the House of Represenatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who “also faulted the governors’ on their position on national security, was not been attacked.
In their statement titled, ‘Asaba declaration: Time to stop the unwarranted attacks on the President of the Senate’, the group said, “We have noticed with dismay, the growing attacks on the person of Dr Ahmed Lawan, the President of the Senate ever since his timely caution against the resort to regionalism by governors from the Southern part of our dear nation.”
According to them, Speaker Gbajabiamila called on all to “imbibe the spirit of oneness, togetherness, unity and love.
“The Senate President was also explicit in his opposition to the resort to regionalism for an issue that should be nationally resolved.
“We should avoid regionalism. We are all leaders and we are in this together. The solutions to our challenges must come from us regardless of what level of government we are, whether at the federal, state or the local government level. I believe that Nigeria is going to come out of these challenges stronger,” Lawan said.
The group said another voice of reason was that of Senator Abdullahi Adamu, former Governor of Nasarawa State who also supported the position of these leaders.
“Without doubt, Dr Lawan and Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila see the entire country as their constituency given the high offices they occupy and therefore, see the ruse of these governors in playing the regional card in these very challenging times when all leaders across party divide should take a bipartisan position in tackling the hydra headed monster of insecurity.
“In other climes, leaders of different political persuasions unite in the face of common threat of annihilation.When train stations and airports were intermittently being attacked in London,the marked divisions between the Labour party and Conservatives simply disappeared as the Tories join hands with their political adversaries to subdue a common foe.It didn’t matter if you were Scottish, Irish or English.What mattered was “Great Britain”.
“We, again, recall the highly commendable bipartisan position of US political actors in the wake of the simultaneous 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in 2001.The Democrats and the Republicans forgot their differences and united to save their homeland.None of them spewed traditional animosities.
“We call on our leaders especially those who play the regional card to borrow a leaf from such climes and contribute to tame the monster of insecurity.
“This is not the time, therefore, of harping on differences, political or regional.This is the time for nationalists like the President of the Senate and the Speaker are joined by others to help stem the tide of insecurity and sundry ills bedevilling the nation.
“The present security challenges confronting the nation, we dare say, are not restricted to a particular region. We share the concerns of these leaders.
“We are, however, perturbed that the President of the Senate is singled out for ceaseless attacks and mindless propaganda by a shadowy group. Ever since he and Speaker Gbajabiamila gave the timely caution, there has been an avalanche of such attacks and misleading media campaign on Dr. Lawan. One such was the banner headline in some newspapers that the Senate President’s days are numbered.
“We dare to ask, how did the voice of moderation attract removal? We also wonder why Speaker Gbajabiamila who also spoke in the same vein, is hardly mentioned in the vile propaganda against the President of the Senate. Is there a set agenda unfolding?
“We finally caution a section of the media against being used unwittingly to set and achieve a malicious agenda.”