The Northern States Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned against plans to arrest former President Goodluck Jonathan by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
According to the Northern group, Goodluck Jonathan's arrest will do the country no good.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 and signed by its PRO, Rev John Joseph Hayab the Northern CAN said every honest Nigerian recognises, from the feelers on ground, that the popularity which aided the current administration to power at the general elections in 2015 is dwindling rapidly in many quarters both home and abroad.
"It is therefore not advisable to consider or plan to arrest the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, as rumours have it. Let's counsel that such a misadventure, in the event where it is true, will set a wrong precedent which could open door for mischief makers to set this nation into disarray," the statement said.
"What Nigerians need urgently is availability of fuel, electricity, prompt payment of salaries, and the security of lives and property. If the alleged plan to arrest GEJ is meant to amuse the international community and prove that Nigeria was fighting corruption then we must not forget that in many parts of the international community the former President is being celebrated as ‘hero of democracy’ and many who earnestly desired him to go for ‘change’ to occur in Nigeria now are singing a different tune," the statement added.
According to CAN, former president Jonathan, with good reasons, is seen in Nigeria and beyond as ‘hero of democracy’ particularly for his disposition to accept defeat at the 2015 elections, a gesture the group said is exceptional in Africa.
"For this single act, it will be hasty and ill advice for the Buhari administration to conceive the arrest of such a statesman at this time in view of the current realities of our dear nation. The government must understand that there are personalities serving in the current administration who have been accused of corruption at various levels but since there are claims that nothing has been established against them, they walk free and holding key and sensitive offices in the nation."
"As it is in this case, why should government imagine the arrest of a man like Jonathan who no crime is yet to be established against him?”
"On this ground, CAN Northern States wishes to counsel that such an arrest, if carried out, has the propensity to lead to misinterpretation with grave consequence to peace and stability that could affect Nigeria economically and much more. Let us not give room for critics to see the purported arrest as ploy to divert Nigerians from speaking or complaining about the harsh reality been experienced in the past eleven months since the inauguration of the APC led government," the statement added.
"In all objectivity, CAN is anxious that whatever action taken against the former President could spark off chains of reactions. If President Buhari needs to arrest anything at the moment in time then he should arrest the incessant spate of attacks by herdsmen in many parts of the country which have led to the deaths of hundreds of defenceless Nigerians under his watch. He should arrest the dangerous slide in the power sector, arrest the fall in the economy, and restore the confidence repose in him at the general elections.”