Matawalle blasts northern elders for attacking Tinubu, says they’re blind or misguided to see new Nigeria under his government

The Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle has blasted the Northern Elders Forum saying they’re blind or misguided to see the new Nigeria under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government.

Recall that the NEF in a statement through its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman on Tuesday said voting Tinubu as president in 2023 is a mistake that will not be repeated.

“The North made a mistake in voting Bola Tinubu to the presidency in 2023 and it is unlikely that they will repeat the same error in the future. The mistake of supporting Tinubu in 2023 has taught them the importance of unity and consensus in selecting a candidate for the highest office in the land.”

Suleiman further said northerners “have learnt from their past misstep and will strive to select a candidate who can unite the country and govern in the best interests of Nigerians.

He added that going forward, the North would be more cautious in selecting a candidate for the presidency. He added, “They will prioritise someone who is seen as more inclusive, less controversial, and more aligned with the interests of all regions of the country.”

In the 2023 presidential election, Tinubu polled over 8.7 million votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

Tinubu garnered over 5.4 million votes in the North-West, North-East and North-Central geopolitical zones to win the presidency.

But reacting in a statement on Saturday, described the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) as a “political paperweight”.

He said; “This NEF is more of a political burden to northerners.

“The group is seeking to erode other people’s rights to be recognised or made relevant in the scheme of things despite the failure of their sponsored candidates in the 2023 general elections,” the minister said.

“In as much as many have overlooked them in respect of their utterances, it is pertinent to underscore their overbearing attitude on issues that affect political unity and cohesion.

“They cannot offer any positive idea or thought about the future of Northern Nigeria or, indeed, of Nigeria and its unity and togetherness.”

Matawalle wondered why NEF was trying to undermine Tinubu’s “overwhelming” victory.

“The NEF has not deemed it fit to seek an audience with Mr. President to discuss issues affecting the northern region despite the numerous challenges facing the north as rightly highlighted by the president and being addressed by him,” he added.

“The group is yet to visit any of the ministers dealing with issues of security, agriculture, water resources, police affairs, education, health, budget, foreign affairs, or any head of security agencies in the country so far for first hand knowledge of government programs and actions.”

The minister added that NEF has refused to accept reality and is living “in a delusion”

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