Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has responded to the Northern Elders Forum’s (NEF), statement that President Muhammadu Buhari and northern governors have lost control over the protection of the people which is a constitutional duty with the recent escalation of attacks by bandits, rustlers and insurgents, describing the group as mere irritant, featherweight and a paper tiger.
The NEF on Sunday said the attacks have left the North completely at the mercy of armed gangs who roam towns and villages at will, wrecking havoc.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, further described the group as a quasi-organization that boasts of no credible membership, and its leader is akin to a General without troops.
Adesina said: “The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) in a statement Sunday signed by its so-called Convener, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, alleged that the insecurity in some northern states of the country was an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari and the governors of those states have lost control over the protection of the people which is a constitutional duty.
“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. 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 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.”