“Stand With President or Exit”: Tinubu’s Top Minister Threatens Northern Elders, Appointees

“Stand With President or Exit”: Tinubu’s Top Minister Threatens Northern Elders, Appointees

  • Northern appointees have been told what to do following the criticism of Tinubu's government by elders from the region
  • Bello Matawalle urged President Tinubu's northern appointees, including Dr. Baba-Ahmed, to defend the administration against unjust attacks
  • The minister of state for defence maintained that it was their duty to promote and support the government's efforts, urging them to "take a stand or consider leaving"

Legit.ng journalist Esther Odili has over two years of experience covering political parties and movements.

The minister of state for defence, Bello Matawalle, has called on all northern appointees to either support President Bola Ahmed Tinubu or step down from their positions.

Tinubu's minister lampoons Northern elders, appointees
Tinubu's minister tackled Baba-Ahmed and other northern appointees under Tinubu's government. Photo credit: @aonanuga1956, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed
Source: Twitter

Why is Matawalle angry with northern elders?

Matawalle issued this damning call while reacting to a statement by Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the former spokesperson for the Northern Elders Forum (NEF).

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Recall that President Tinubu appointed Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, as the special adviser on political affairs to Vice President Kashim Shettima.

His appointment surprised many as he has been a strong critic of the APC-led administration over the years.

Trouble started after the NEF said Nigerians in the region regretted supporting Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election.

Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, the spokesman of the NEF, made this revelation on Tuesday, April 9. Against this backdrop, Suleiman disclosed that come the 2027 general elections, the north would place unity and consensus in selecting a presidential candidate above anything else.

But on Saturday, April 13, the minister lambasted NEF for attacking Tinubu's administration and saying it regretted supporting him in the 2023 general election. He described the NEF's action as a political burden on the north.

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Baba-Ahmed, others told to either support Tinubu or exit

As reported by The Punch, this comment, however, did not sit well with Baba-Ahmed, who said Matawalle was ill-advised, noting that a better defence could have been presented.

However, in his defence, Matawalle said as an appointee of the current administration, Baba-Ahmed needed to work towards its success and protect it from unwarranted criticism rooted in ethnic or narrow interests.

Matawalle, in the statement shared by Bayo Onanuga, the special adviser, information and strategy to President TinubuBayo Onanuga, said all appointees must take a stand. The statement read:

"It is pertinent to state that every appointee of President Tinubu including Dr. Baba-Ahmed owe the government a copious duty to promote, elucidate and advance the good works and commendable efforts of the government across all sectors.
"As appointees of the government from the North, we must all take a stand, be unequivocal and be counted in the roll of honours for our support and work for the success of the administration we are serving. 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 government or take our exit."

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Sani grieves for north, compares Tinubu, Buhari's reigns

In another development, Legit.ng reported that Shehu Sani, a former senator, lamented the growing state of insecurity in the northern part of Nigeria, adding that many bigwigs in the region kept mute when President Muhammadu Buhari, who was from the region, was in power.

The former lawmaker, in a veiled message, said Buhari's loyalists in the region kept quiet for eight years and defended the Katsina-born politician rather than speaking the truth to power.

Sani went further to posit that now that power has shifted from the north to the south with President Bola Tinubu being at the helm of affairs, their voice is being heard subtly.

Source: Legit.ng

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