Arewa chides Northern Elders Forum over anti-Tinubu comments

President Bola Tinubu
President Bola Tinubu


A group, Arewa Progressive Forum (APFO) has disassociated itself from the recent views of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) against President Bola Tinubu’s presidential approach to security in the region.

The Northern Elders had claimed to have regretted its decision to vote for Tinubu in the 2023 elections, with a threat that the North had learned its lesson over heightened security challenges under the Tinubu-led administration.

The National Secretary of the forum, Magaji Danbatta, in a statement on Monday in Kaduna, regretted that the recent outbursts of the NEF did not represent the Northern agenda for peace and national unity of the country which is not negotiable.

To Dambatta, it was an error for any group or political association to come out openly and announce their regret over majority decisions.

He warned,”The northern elders are derailing from their counseling and advisory role to the government on national issues as it affects the region.”

The group further supported the Minister of State Defense, Bello Matawalle, over his mature response to the NEF’s outbursts against Tinubu.

According to Danbatta, the people behind the claim were more interested in personal gains than the unity and survival of Nigeria.

He said, “We wholeheartedly endorse the reactions of the Minister of State Defence, Bello Matawalle to some members of this group. They are not in tune with the current reality in the North.

“Northern elders should be seen as mediators or opinion shapers on national unity, cohesion, and progress without regional bias. This is key because Nigeria’s unity can’t be negotiated on the page of newspapers.

“The same elders that ignored and failed to unite some of our political gladiators that are fighting one another in Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kaduna States are talking about the region being abandoned to its plights.”

The group challenged the forum on their whereabouts when Gov. Dauda Lawal of Zamfara was attacking his predecessor, Matawalle, over issues that could have been amicably resolved.

‘Danbatta added, ‘The same with Umar Ganduje and Rabi’u Kwankwaso or Aliyu Wamakko and Attahiru Bafarawa before going into a fight with Aminu Tambuwal?

“In Kaduna, there is a brewing misunderstanding between Governor Uba Sani and his predecessor Nasir El-Rufai. All the Northern elders cared about was President Tinubu.

“We are concerned that the northern elders have one of their members as an Adviser on political matters to the Vice-President, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed.

”He could have facilitated a meeting with who and who in the seat of power to discuss issues affecting the region or the country in general rather than rushing to the press.”

The forum however commended the unrelenting efforts of the National Security Adviser, Malam Nuhu Ribadu and Matawalle, whose proactive measures have helped improve security in the Northern region.

“We are of the view that President Tinubu’s approach to the issues of security in the North so far, especially North-West is one of the best compared to his immediate predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari’s approach,” Danbatta said.(NAN)


The OPINION / COLUMN is authored by independent contributors to the National Accord Newspaper. While contributors adhere to our editorial guidelines, they are not employed by the National Accord Newspaper. The perspectives and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the National Accord Newspaper or its staff.

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