Condemnation, on Monday, trailed the request by the Boko Haram sect that President Goodluck Jonathan should become a Muslim or resign from office.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the sect had in an internet broadcast, on Saturday, asked for Jonathan’s conversion or resignation as the condition for it to stop violence.
However, Jonathan on Sunday said through his spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, that he would neither resign nor convert to Islam.
“The president cannot be intimidated by any group or individual. The president will never resign.
“He has the mandate of Nigerians to serve his fatherland; nobody should imagine that he will succumb to blackmail,” Abati told journalists in Abuja.
Reacting to the development, the founder of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr Fredrick Faseun, said that no group in Nigeria had the right to make such demands.
Faseun told NAN in a telephone interview that it was only the National Assembly that could remove the president.
“I blame the government, especially the security operatives, for being too accommodating with these terrorists and their cohorts,’’ he said.
Commenting, the president of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, also told NAN that the sect lacked the powers to make such demands.
“The threat is neither constitutional nor right,’’ Shettima said.
He urged the group to take advantage of the dialogue being sought by the presidency to make peace with Nigeria.
“Somebody must come forward to take responsibility and represent the sect.
“Government cannot dialogue with people it cannot see,’’ he said.
Contributing, the president of Igbo Youth Congress, Mr Bright Ezeocha, described the demand as meaningless.
“The president should not have even dignified them with a response. It is ridiculous.
“President Goodluck Jonathan was not voted in by the Boko Haram sect, and the sect has no moral right to make such a demand, with the high number of innocent Nigerians it has killed,’’ he said.
Ezeocha urged Jonathan to deploy more security operatives to fish out members of the group and those behind its activities.
“We must learn to respect the office of the president,’’ he said.