As the current face-off between President Goodluck Jonathan and the Nigerian Governors Forum, headed by Gov Chibuike Amaechi continues to generate tension across the country, a clergyman in Rivers State and International President of Integrity & Faithful Ministers Network Worldwide, Bishop (Dr) Friday Nwator has advocated dialogue to end the feud. Dr Nwator stated this in an exclusive interview with The Newswriter in Port Harcourt at the weekend. According to him, it is natural in a plural society like ours to have misunderstanding, but what is important is our ability to settle it and forge ahead. The Cleric who said he is 72 years old, has been a medical doctor for 44 years and a bishop for 11 years advised the President to invite all the parties concerned, be it Nigerian Governors Forum, PDP Governors Forum or any other political party forum for discussion, with a view to finding solution to the problem. He accused some presidential Aides of fuelling the crisis and prayed that God will disgrace and remove them from the system. Nwator who admitted that the governors forum is not in the constitution, said as long as the motive for forming it is for the development of the country there is nothing wrong with that, but such association should not be used to distract or disturb the activities of the president. He said as long as the president has been elected by the people to govern the country just as the governors have been elected to govern their respective states, there should be mutual understanding and respect for one another.
The Bishop said he condemns a situation where the governors tend to undermine the president and vice versa, which he said is capable of affecting governance at the long run. A situation he said Satan can capitalize on to bring confusion to the detriment of the entire nation. He urged Jonathan to strive to reconcile with the governors in the interest of peace and economic development of Nigeria.
Nwator said his advice is that a committee comprising notable Nigerians should be set up to settle the warring parties, for the overall interest of the country.
Commenting on the recent revelation that 83% of oil blocs in Nigeria are owned by northerners who do not produce any. The Bishop said he had always insisted that people like Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida and so on who are not educated enough, but just wangled their way to become head of state through coup de’tat do not deserve to be anything in Nigeria again. The reason according to him is that it was during the military era that this injustice was done and these northern leaders are the people causing trouble in the country today, even the Boko Haram. “How can you reconcile the fact that apart from being properly educated and produce oil that is sustaining the nation we have not been deemed qualified to have oil blocs. That means we are foolish. Thank God for the PIB, I pray that it will be passed into law so that the anomaly will be redressed.” The man of God said he is urging the president to constitute a committee with credible Nigerians as members to address the oil bloc issue, ensuring that it is evenly distributed across the country. Asked if he will be ready to serve in the committee if appointed, Nwator said, “I don’t mind if I am called upon to serve in the committee or any other one for the development of Nigeria.”
On the call for amnesty for Boko Haram, the bishop said he single handedly brought out about 2000 militants from the creeks before he was supported by some people and after which they proposed amnesty to the then President, Late Musa Yar’Adua, that was later considered. The cleric said he is of the opinion that until Northern elders take responsibility and bring out Boko Haram operators for meaningful dialogue to ascertain their grievances, it will be difficult to grant amnesty in a vacuum. He recalled that the then Niger Delta militants had clear cut grievance that was based on resource control and marginalization. He said Jonathan was right when he said amnesty cannot be granted to ghosts. ##