20 December 2012

Nigeria: Politicians Exploit Religion to Divide Citizens - Jonathan

Jonathan spoke at a special session in honour of the late Yakowa and Azazi before suspending the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Speaking after the session, Jonathan said the FEC meeting was suspended for the year and "the next meeting is to hold by January 9, 2013." The council also observed a minute silence in honour of the victims.

Speaking during the valedictory session, Jonathan said the victims served the country well. He said Yakowa "was a different class of politician. Most of us who are politicians exploit religious sentiments to divide Nigerians for our own selfish gains. We exploit North South divide to divide Nigerians for our selfish gains. But Yakowa was very different. He was gentleman who believed in the unity of this country."

On Azazi, Jonathan said he first met him in 2004 when "the then Brigadier Azazi was made the Director of Military Intelligence (DMI). I was then the deputy governor of Bayelsa, somebody came to me that one of our own has been made the DMI and that was a prestigious posting in the Army and we had a little party for him.

"The Minister of Niger Delta just told us that Azazi has a 90-year-old mother, can you imagine how a 90-year-old mother will mourn a son who did very well?"

Jonathan condoled with the families of the deceased.

On his part, Vice President Namadi Sambo described Yakowa as a rare breed politician saying he was a bridge builder.

All the ministers that spoke eulogised the virtues of the deceased and prayed for their souls.

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