Tinubu Presidency: Northern Elders Forum is Political Burden to the North, They do not speak for the region – Bello Matawalle

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The Minister of State, Defence, Hon. Bello Mohammed Matawalle has described the utterances of the Northern Elders Forum against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as ‘mediocre noise’ of people seeking political relevance to overburden the system and create political disunity among Nigerians.

He said the so-called NEF is more or less a political paperweight trying to embark on a destructive journey to bring the North to disrepute for the group’s personal, selfish gains and political relevance

The minister said: “This NEF is more of a political burden to Northerners. The group is seeking to erode other people’s rights in order to be recognised or relevant in the scheme of things despite the failure of their sponsored candidates in the 2023 general elections.

“In asmuchas many have overlooked them in respect of their utterances, it is pertinent to underscore their overbearing attitude on issues that affect political unity and cohesion. They have become more of a burden. They can not offer any positive idea or thought about the future of Northern Nigeria or, indeed, of Nigeria and its unity and togetherness.

“We all know President Bola Ahmed Tinubu won the February 2023 presidential election convincingly. So, who is the NEF to want to undermine the president’s victory and even threaten to unseat him?

“This same group of people have intentionally shied away from their responsibility of engendering unity in the North by appreciating the incremental development being brought to the North by Ministers appointed by President Tinubu from the North, especially North West. The NEF has not deemed it fit to seek the audience with Mr. President to discuss issues affecting the Northern region despite the numerous challenges facing the North rightly highlighted by the President and being addressed by him.

“The group has also not yet visited any of the affected ministers dealing with issues of security, agriculture, water resources, police affairs, Education,Health, Budget, foreign affairs, or any head of security agencies in the country so far.”

Matawalle said the majority of them are more interested in faulting the government so as to be recognised or accorded some relevance.

“Our region, the North, is united, disciplined and politically-driven enough not to listen and accept being teleguided by any group of elites who had fed fat in the past on the North’s resources and opportunities and destroyed the region and nation due to their selfishness,” he added.

According to him, President Tinubu is poised to do a lot for the North as President of Nigeria, elected by the people of Nigerian, not by one ethnic or the other, therefore, anyone mistakenly seeing President Tinubu as a failure or a weakling is making mistakes.

“Such a person or group is either blind or jaundiced and unable to see the new Nigeria that is emerging.

“Therefore, the NEF’s statement allegedly expressing regret for voting for President Tinubu is unfortunate.

“NEF is not more than a group that refused to accept reality and is leaving in illusion.
The truth is the North is proud of its support and vote for President Tinubu and will continue to be proud of her relationship with the President given the enormous change and development his government has brought to the region.

“My advice to NEF and others like the group is to find accommodation in the present government and join hands with President Tinubu in order to further move the country forward.”

HE Bello Mohammed Matawalle,
Honourable Minister of State, Defence.

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