Matawalle hits NEF for saying north made mistake voting Tinubu, says they’re ‘political paperweight’

Friday Ajagunna
Friday Ajagunna
Bello Matawalle,

Bello Matawalle, minister of state for defence, has described the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) as a “political paperweight.”

The minister said this in reaction to a comment by Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, spokesperson of the forum, who said the north made a mistake by voting for President Bola Tinubu in 2023.

“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,” Suleiman said.

In a statement on Saturday, Matawalle said, “This NEF is more of a political burden to northerners”.

“The group is seeking to erode other people’s rights in order 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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