Buhari And His Northern Elders Battle Over His Assessed Pedigree

Joseph Bakare

The Presidency has disregarded the assessment of the Muhammadu Buhari administration by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF).

Uncomfortable with the assessment, the presidency described the forum as a quasi-organisation that boasts of no credible membership and that its leader, Ango Abdullahi is a General without troops.

The Northern Elders Forum had criticised the Buhari administration on Sunday, February 9, 2020, scoring the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government low.

The forum also accused the Buhari administration of being helpless in finding solutions to Nigeria’s security challenges; as well as widespread poverty in the country.

NEF chairman, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, after their meeting said that ‘‘poverty, particularly in the North and massive social security have worsened under Buhari’s administration.”

Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina expressed reservations over the NEF verdict on the Buhari administration; saying Abdullahi had again shown his antipathy against the president.

Adesina in a statement said,

‘‘Prof. 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. 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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