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Matawalle lashes NEF over Tinubu comment, says group a political burden to northerners



Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, has lambasted apex northern socio-political group, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), following their statement that they regretted voting for President Bola Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election .

The former Zamfara State governor who took a swipe at the group of elders in a statement on Saturday, said the Forum was living in delusion and had refused to accept reality while constituting a burden to northerners in the process.

The Forum had, in a statement last week, said it was considering withdrawing their support for Tinubu in 2027 due to the escalating insecurity in the north and other challenges facing the country.

But while reacting to the threat, Matawalle said the elders were only naive and blinded not to see the efforts of Tinubu in resolving Nigeria’s problems including insecurity.

He accused the NEF of seeking political relevance to overburden the system and create political disunity among citizens.

The Minister further described the Forum as “more or less a political paperweight trying to embark on a destructive journey that will bring the North to disrepute for their personal and selfish gains.”

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“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,” he 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.

“President Tinubu is poised to do a lot for the North as president of Nigeria, elected by the people of Nigeria, not by one ethnic group or the other, therefore, anyone mistakenly seeing President Tinubu as a failure or a weakling is making a mistake and should rethink.

“Such a person or group is either blind or misguided and unable to see the new Nigeria that is emerging.

“Therefore, the NEF’s statement allegedly expressing regret for voting for President Tinubu is unfortunate. NEF is not more than a group that has refused to accept reality and is living in delusion,” he added.

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