The leader of Northern Elders and Youth Forum, NEYF, Dauda Birma, said on Thursday that President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, provided the enabling environment for the release of Hamza Al-Mustapha, the Chief Security Officers, CSO, to the late Head of State, Sani Abacha.
He also said that his group would support Mr. Jonathan for the 2015 presidential election, insisting that the president was credible and qualified to run.
Mr Birma, a former Education Minister in the administration of Mr. Abacha, stated this during the group’s visit to Mr. Tukur at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja.
Members of two other groups – Fresh Air Youth on Continuity and North/South New Nigeria Forum – accompanied the NEYF to the party’s secretariat.
Mr. Birma, who was a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, in 2011, praised Messrs Jonathan and Tukur for the roles they played in securing freedom for Mr Al-Mustapha two weeks ago.
According to him, the army officer couldn’t have regained his freedom by mere pronouncement of judiciary without the concurrence of the executive arm.
“I know how much the chairman has been working hard to get Al-Mustapha released,” the former minister said.
“I know that someone who has worked with a former head of state and was incarcerated for 15 years cannot be released by mere pronouncements of the judiciary without the concurrence of the executive.
“I must thank Mr. Chairman for getting the ear of the President for this gesture. I must also thank the Nigerian women: three staunch women sat on the judgment and we want to thank the Nigerian women.
“Goodluck Jonathan’s leadership has been rated as the best administration so far. With what Jonathan has done in Maiduguri, I can affirm that the city is now safer than most parts of the country”.
Two members of the groups, Muhammed Waziri and Aisha Abdulkadir, who also spoke during the visit said Mr. Tukur was facing criticisms from some members of the party because of his insistence on fairness and truth.
They assured that the groups would mobilise support for Mr. Jonathan during the 2015 presidential elections.
Responding, Mr. Tukur promised to inform Mr. Jonathan about their promises.
He said the party would no longer condone divide and rule tactics and would ensure equity and fairness for its members.
Mr. Tukur also asked Nigerians to work harmoniously to achieve progress, adding that what the president had done so far would secure Nigeria a permanent seat of the UN Security Council.