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Matawalle to Northern appointees: Stand with Tinubu or exit



The Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle has challenged political appointees from the north to give total support to President Bola Tinubu.

Matawalle’s call came after the Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, expressed a different opinion about the minister’s defence of Tinubu’s administration.

On Saturday, the minister slammed the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) for saying it regretted supporting Tinubu in the 2023 general election.

He described the action of the NEF as a political burden on the North.

In a statement on Monday, Matawalle said as an appointee of the current administration, Baba-Ahmed must work towards its success and protect it from unwarranted criticism rooted in ethnic or narrow interests.

READ ALSO: Northern political groups knocks NEF for criticising Tinubu

The statement read: “Consequent to my position on the recent attack on the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR by a spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, it has come to my attention that Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed who once served as the Spokesperson of the group and currently a Special Adviser on Political Matters in the Presidency took to his page on it to express a different position.

“According to Dr. Baba-Ahmed, my stand against the unjust and spurious attack against the new administration of President Tinubu which is working very hard to reposition our country and economy for the better is ‘ill-advised’. He suggested I could have done a better job in my defence of the administration where I have the rare honour of serving as a Minister.

“Dr. Baba-Ahmed’s relationship and affinity with the NEF is well-known. The fact now is that he is an appointee of the administration as Special Adviser and it is incumbent on him to work for the success of the government he is part of, protect and defend the government against unjust and vicious attacks from those who hide under ethnic and other primordial interests to heat the polity for myopic reasons.

“This is not the time to keep quiet in the face of intimidation and misrepresentation of the efforts and achievements of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR. We must stand up to be counted for being on the part of the government or take our exit.”

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