Presidency: Northern Elders’ Forum lacks credible membership

The presidency and the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) exchanged brickbats yesterday over the stewardship of President Muhammadu Buhari.

NEF spokesman,  Professor Ango Abdullahi, fired the first salvo when he accused Buhari of failing Nigeria by his inability to tackle the security challenges facing the country.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, dismissed the claim, saying contrary to assumptions, NEF is a one-man squad, made up of only Abdullahi, a former vice chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University(ABU),  Zaria.

According to Adesina, NEF,  which cannot boast of credible membership, “is merely waving a flag that is at half-mast” while the president is focused on his job.

He said: “Professor Ango Abdullahi on Sunday signed a long-winding statement on many issues relating to the North, and purportedly to the country.

“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. It is a quasi-organisation 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.”

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