Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNGs) has urged the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to urgently severe all forms of political ties with the South-West over what its described as a conspiracy by some southern elements to forceful overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
The CNGs hinged its call on the conspiracy of silence by some South-West political leaders in the recent #RevolutionNow protest.
In a statement signed in Abuja, on Wednesday by its spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Sulaiman, the northern groups specifically accused the like of Bola Tinubu, Babatunde Fashola, John Fayemi and Rauf Argbesola, among other political, cultural, religious and traditional leaders of supporting the protest.
“It is quite unfortunate that the South-West which has been the single major beneficiary of the Buhari administration should also be in the forefront of efforts to discredit and bring him down by all means.
“This can be seen in the manner in which the bulk of political, cultural, religious and traditional leadership is standing solidly against the government with its open support for call for the violent overthrow of the Buhari government by the #Revolutionow organisers.
“In particular, such individual beneficiaries of the government as Bola Tinubu, Fashola, Fayemi, Argbesola, and others largely from the South West were nowhere to be seen when their people and the southern-based media ignited tensions over the government’s Ruga initiative.
“These same beneficiaries appear today in implicit support of the proposed insurrection by maintaining a conspiratorial neutrality while other southern influencers like Wole Soyinka, Bisi Akande, Femi Falana etc explicitly back the organisers,” the statement read.
The coalition further noted that instead of just sitting back to thank Nigerians for shunning the plan, President Buhari should rather sincerely apologise to the nation by reflecting on how he dragged the country into such a desperate situation and own up to his inadequacies and take genuine steps to address the mounting national grievances.
“Unless this is done, with the growing angry mood that pervades the entire country, the likelihood of a more serious dissent remains imminent.
“We also wish to ask the president if in all honesty he still considers the south-western players as true friends who are genuinely desirous of his success. He should ask himself if the treatment he is receiving from them is worth the attention he had given the South West which involved colluding with his northern brethren to the point of elevating the status of June 12 as appeasement.”
Making more demands, the coalition said: “The entire northern leaders and elite, categorically say that the current political alignment with the South West is not paying and it never will.
“The vital task at this point is for the northern political leadership to renegotiate its current alliance with the South West which has never been North’s political ally. The alliance is already turning out to be unhealthy.
“We are calling on the northern elders and leaders to review the region’s position by realigning with our traditional political friends which had served the whole nation for decades before the coming of this unholy and unprofitable union with the south-western block.
“This has become necessary with the way the South West is going about the current friendship by being more openly antagonistic to northern interests even while they are the major beneficiaries of the Buhari administration. They, at the slightest of pretences, openly denigrate the North, its people, its leadership and culture which must not be allowed to continue.
“The CNG therefore calls on the current leadership of the Northern Elders Forum under Professor Ango Abdullahi to mobilise relevant stakeholders towards bringing an end to the political partnership with the South West and embracing the North’s initial political allies,” the statement read.