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Presidency attacks Northern Elders Forum over comments on insecurity


The Presidency on Sunday attacked the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) for expressing displeasure over the high rate of insecurity in Northern Nigeria.

 

The forum in a statement signed by its coordinator, Ango Abdullahi, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has failed in its fight against bandits and Boko Haram insurgents.

 

PREMIUM TIMES reported the insecurity across Nigeria last week with over 140 people killed in separate attacks, majority of them in Northern Nigeria.

 

“Recent escalation of attacks by bandits, rustlers and insurgents leave the only conclusion that the people of the North are now completely at the mercy of armed gangs who roam towns and villages at will, wreaking havoc,” Mr Abdullahi said.

 

“It would appear that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and governors have lost control over the imperatives of protecting people of the North, a constitutional duty that they swore to uphold.

 

“The situation is getting worse literally by the day as bandits and insurgents appear to sense a huge vacuum in political will and capacity which they exploit with disastrous consequences on communities and individuals. As a responsible body, the forum has joined millions of others in prayers and in giving advice and encouragement to all authorities that have responsibility to protect our communities.

 

“It is now time to say, enough is enough. Our people are known for their patience and respect for constituted authorities, but all governments must be aware by now that all Northerners have been pushed to the wall. The forum is aware that some citizens are contemplating peaceful protests, which are their constitutional rights, to draw attention of President Buhari and all levels of authority to the plight of people of the North.

“Our current circumstances in the North clearly demonstrate that President Buhari’s administration has woefully failed to achieve either.This is unacceptable. We demand an immediate and comprehensive improvement of our security in the North. We are tired of excuses and verbal threats which criminals laugh at, and our fellow citizens see as a clear failure of leadership which they see as part of them. Enough is enough.”

Ignore NEF – Presidency

 

Reacting to the NEF, the Special Adviser on Media to Mr Buhari, Femi Adesina, said Mr Abdullahi was only speaking for himself, describing him as ”a mere irritant and featherweight.”

 

”We are not surprised by this latest statement by Prof. Abdullahi, and our past position on what his group represents remains unchanged: a mere irritant and featherweight.”

 

”The former vice chancellor signed the statement under the banner of Northern Elders Forum (NEF). Hearing that title, you would think the body was a conglomeration of true elders. But the truth is that NEF is just Ango Abdullahi, and Ango Abdullahi is NEF.”

”Before the 2019 presidential election, the one-man army called NEF had shown its antipathy against President Buhari, and its preference for another candidate. They all got beaten together.

 

”NEF is merely waving a flag that is at half-mast. President Buhari steadily and steadfastly focuses on the task of retooling Nigeria, and discerning Nigerians know the true state of the nation.

 

”They don’t need a paper tiger to tell them anything,” Mr Adesina said without addressing the worsening security situation.


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