Presidency Hits Back At Northern Elders Forum For Calling Buhari A Failure
The Presidency has responded to the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) over a statement it issued on Sunday, describing President Muhammadu Buhari as a failure.
In the statement signed by its chairman Prof. Ango Abdullahi, NEF said the Buhari administration has failed in different ways, including security wise.
Abdullahi issued the statement at a meeting attended by NEF’s Director of Advocacy and Engagements, Hakeem Baba-Ahmad and journalists, among others.
“The forum regrets that by any standard of judgement, the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has failed the nation in the vital area of improving its security. Poverty, particularly in the North, and massive social security have worsened under this administration.
“The relationship between insecurity and poverty is fundamental, but the administration does not appear to have any idea on what will provide relief or solution. It gives the forum no pleasure to say that it had warned Nigerians that President Buhari lacked the will, the competence and commitment to lead it into a secure and prosperous future before the 2019 elections. It is shocking that in spite of unprecedented consensus among Nigerians that the administration requires a new resolve, approach and leadership in the fight against the nation’s multiple security challenges, President Buhari appears either totally isolated or in deep denial over the result of his failures to secure Nigerians.
“With this type of mind set, it is difficult to see how President Buhari can accept the challenge to radically improve his handling of our security situation. Nonetheless, we believe that Nigerians must continue to raise our voices and organize through all legitimate means to demand that the administration addresses major failings in his perception of our situation and his response to our demands for our rights to security,” said the group.
NEF also called for a complete overhaul of the leadership of the nation’s security and public safety agencies as part efforts to improve security in the country.
But responding in a statement by President Buhari’s senior special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, the presidency dismissed the Northern Elders Forum as unimportant, saying “you would think the body was a conglomeration of true elders.”
Adesina said, “But the truth is that NEF is just Ango Abdullahi, and Ango Abdullahi is NEF. It is a quasi-organization that boasts of no credible membership, and its leader is akin to a General without troops.
Before the 2019 presidential election, the one-man army called NEF had shown its antipathy against President Muhammadu 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,” said the presidential aide.