Poor Performance: Northern Elders Forum Slams Buhari, Presidency Fires Back
SWITZERLAND, FEBRUARY 10 – There was a war of words over the weekend between the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), a socio-cultural group based in the North, and the presidency over President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged poor performance in office.
The NEF, led by Professor Ango Abdullahi said Buhari had failed Nigeria while the presidency hit back through Buhari’s media aide, Femi Adesina, who called the NEF a paper Tiger that lacks real membership
Rising from its meeting in Zaria on Sunday, the NEF delivered its verdict that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed Nigeria.
It said Buhari has failed to tackle insecurity and improve the economy.
The forum lamented that the Buhari -led government appeared helpless in finding solutions to insecurity as well as poverty in the country.
Addressing Journalists shortly after the meeting convened by the chairman of the forum, Professor Ango Abdullahi, the forum’s Director, Advocacy and Engagements of NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmad, said poverty, particularly in the North and massive social security have worsened under Buhari’s administration.
In attendance at the meeting were: Abdullahi, former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alamin Daggash (retd); Secretary of the Coalition of Northern Groups, Abdullahi Usman and Ambassador Yahaya Kwande; Deputy National Chairman of NEF, Alhaji Bello Kirfi (Wazirin Bauchi), DIG Labaran Wurno, Alhaji Yakubu Shehu and former MD, defunct Bank of the North, Hajiya Amina Yahaya, among others.
Baba-Ahmed stated categorically that NEF had before the 2019 elections warned Nigerians that Buhari lacked the will, competence and commitment to lead the country into a secure and prosperous future.
While noting that the relationship between insecurity and poverty is fundamental, the Northern Elders said, the current administration does not appear to have any idea on what will provide relief or solution.
Speaking on the 2023 Presidential election, the Forum said the north will only support candidate who can find solutions to problems bedevilling the region.
According to Dr. Baba-Ahmed: “Northern Elders Forum has refrained from comments on major developments relating to management of national security and governance because it is convinced that these are times which require the highest levels of responsibility and circumspection in the manner elders and leaders in the nation contribute to the search for solutions to the multiple problems which face the nation.
“It has become necessary and appropriate, however, to make public, the position of the Forum on important matters that affect the manner Nigerians live, and the future we must address.
“The Forum regrets that by any standard of judgement, the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has failed the nation in the vital area of improving its security. Poverty, particularly in the North, and massive social security have worsened under this administration. The relationship between insecurity and poverty is fundamental, but the administration does not appear to have any idea on what will provide relief or solution.
“It gives the Forum no pleasure to say that it had warned Nigerians that President Buhari lacked the will, the competence and commitment to lead it into a secure and prosperous future before the 2019 elections.
“It is shocking that in spite of unprecedented consensus among Nigerians that the administration requires a new resolve, approach and leadership in the fight against the nation’s multiple security challenges, President Buhari appears either totally isolated or in deep denial over the result of his failures to secure Nigerians.
“With this type of mind set, it is difficult to see how President Buhari can accept the challenge to radically improve his handling of our security situation. Nonetheless, we believe that Nigerians must continue to raise our voices and organize through all legitimate means to demand that the administration addresses major failings in his perception of our situation and his response to our demands for our rights to security.
Meanwhile, the Presidency on Sunday, in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina described the association as a one-man show that is like a general without troops which revolves on Prof. Ango Abdullahi.
Adesina noted that the group had before the 2019 presidential elections expressed its hatred for President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that the candidate NEF supported in the election suffered defeat.
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-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 Muhammadu Buhari, and its preference for another candidate. They all got beaten together.”
Continuing, Adesina said, “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.