The Presidency has hit back at the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) over a statement made by the group on the state of the nation.
A statement, issued in Abuja on Sunday, by the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, described the chairman of the group and former Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Professor Ango Abdullahi, as a General without an army.
The statement recalled that the northern elders had sided with another candidate during the 2019 presidential election, but were beaten together by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the statement, Nigerians know the true state of things in the country and do not require what it described as “a paper tiger,” to tell them.
The statement read: “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.”