The presidency has chastised the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), stating that the body does not have the authority to ask any group to leave the northern area.
Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, denounced the remarks in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja.
The message read, “We are aware of the current declaration from the so-called “Northern Elders Forum.”
“We want Nigerians to know that it is their democratically elected government that makes the decisions that guide our country and no one else.”
“No self-appointed and unelected organization, no matter how much media publicity they may receive, can take this right away from Nigerians.” Nigerians listen to elected leaders, not opinionated tin-gods with little clout among any responsible group.
“It is insane hubris that leads such a group to openly proclaim terms and conditions for our nation’s survival.”
“Who granted them the authority to request the exclusion or expulsion of any individual, group, or portion of the Nigerian people from the Federal Republic of Nigeria?”
“The Nigerian government accepts neither advice nor invites from such organisations – only from the Nigerian people who elect governments.”
“Any group can refer to itself as “leaders,” but in Nigeria, if you haven’t been voted to a leadership post by Nigerians, you aren’t — and the government surely doesn’t recognize you as such.”
“Nigeria, like many other countries worldwide, is feeling the pressure of the current moment of instability and uncertainty.” Now is not the time to try to aggravate Nigerian differences. Rather, we urge all Nigerians to band together and work together to address the issues we confront as a nation and a people.
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