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Insecurity: Northern elders, others selfish, shedding crocodile tears, says Presidency

Insecurity: Northern elders, others selfish, shedding crocodile tears, says Presidency

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Olalekan Adetayo and Jesusegun Alagbe

The Presidency on Friday lambasted the Northern elders and other leaders for faulting the way President Muhamamdu Buhari was handling the country’s security challenges, describing them as selfish leaders.

Leaders of some socio-cultural organisations, led by the Northern Elders Forum, had issued a communiqué, accusing the Buhari administration of incompetence in handling the security situation in the country.

But the Presidency, in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said it considered the communiqué “as the shedding of crocodile tears by selfish leaders”.

Shehu claimed that the leaders felt alienated after a transparent and accountable system “halted their disproportionate survival on the resources of the state”.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to ignore what he described as an unholy alliance by the groups.

He said the groups were only stepping up their assault on the All Progressives Congress-led administration as it expanded its national dominance and moved closer to securing an outright victory in the elections next year.

Shehu said, “The Presidency notes with dismay that the refrain that the President Buhari was not doing anything about security in the country has turned into the number one fake news item being peddled in the media.

“The Presidency refers all the purveyors of falsehood to a State House press release published few days ago and signed by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media, which clearly outlined the government’s major achievements and initiatives in tackling security challenges from January to July, 2018.

“We advise Nigerians to read Adesina’s statement if they haven’t done so yet, or re-read it for better understanding of the efforts to ensure peace in the country.

“No one can honestly say that President Buhari is doing nothing about security. It’s just a fake news item being peddled by selfish politicians with vested interests in keeping Nigerians incensed, and it risks being entrenched as reality if we don’t educate ourselves with the truth.”

However, the Northern Elders Forum on Friday said no matter the attack on them, they would continue to speak the truth to power and hold the political leaders accountable.

The NEF Chairman, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, said the elders criticised President Buhari for the way he was handling security purely because of their love for the country.

He noted that they were never selfish or expecting any reward from anybody for what they were doing.

He said, “The Northern elders are only paying their dues. God sparing our lives, we will continue to serve our country. We have been talking, not because of what we want to gain.

“It’s for the love of the country and not because anybody is giving us any reward. None of us is dependent on anybody for survival, so anything we do is basically out of love for the country.”

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