The views of Katsina Elders’ Forum has been described as not reflecting the position of Northern Nigeria on the re-election of President Bola Tinubu in 2027.
Minister of State for Defence Bello Matawalle, who disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said that it was wrong for the elders to make such statements.
The former Zamfara governor said that what Northern Nigeria needs now is the security of lives and property, which the President is committed to provide.
He also warned that anything capable of truncating the nation’s democracy and setting the North against other regions would not be tolerated by the government.
The forum had issued a warning to Tinubu over the decision of his administration to relocate some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria to Lagos.
It also disagreed with the relocation of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the issue of the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua International Airport expansion project in Katsina.
The elders had asked the President to reverse the decisions or risk losing the support of the North in the 2027 general election.
Matawalle described the threat by the forum as an empty one and contrived to cause hatred, disunity, and to set Northern Nigeria against their brothers and sisters from other parts of the country.
“President Tinubu is for all Nigerians and he has no interest or agenda against any of the six geopolitical zones of the country.
“The Renewed Hope Agenda of the president is geared towards setting things right for the realisation of maximum economic development, security, and welfare of all Nigerians,” he said.
The minister said that the elders have lost their people’s confidence when they failed to support the aspiration of their own to win the state for All Progressives Congress party in 2023.
“Do Katsina elders have the right to speak on behalf of Northern people? How can the elders who failed to support the President and their own, the former President Muhammadu Buhari to win Katsina State, make such a reckless statement on behalf of Northern people?
“Katsina elders have forgotten how they betrayed Buhari and President Tinubu by their failure to ensure that President Tinubu wins the majority of votes in their state in the 2023 presidential election.”
He urged the elders not to truncate the existing peace and harmony between the north and other regions through such statements.
“When former President Buhari’s Minister of Transportation decided to locate the Transportation University in the former President’s hometown, Daura, other Nigerians did not protest against that decision.
“(This is because) they believed it was in the interest of unity and peaceful coexistence of the country.
“I, therefore, strongly advise the Katsina elders to think twice and stop heating up the polity, but rather concentrate on what binds Nigerians and Nigeria as an entity for the development of our dear country,” the Minister said. (NAN)