Defence Minister Condemns NEF’s Criticism of President Tinubu, Labels Group a ‘Political Burden’



In a bold rebuke of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), the Honourable Minister of State for Defence, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, denounced the group’s recent threats against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as “reprehensible and naive.” Addressing the media on Saturday, April 13th, 2024, Matawalle asserted that the NEF’s actions were detrimental to political unity and cohesion within Nigeria.

Describing the NEF as a “political paperweight” seeking relevance through divisive tactics, Matawalle emphasized the group’s failure to contribute positively to the development of the Northern region. He criticized the NEF for attempting to undermine President Tinubu’s legitimacy, despite his convincing victory in the February 2023 presidential election.

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Furthermore, Matawalle highlighted the NEF’s neglect of its responsibility to engage with government officials on issues affecting the Northern region.

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He noted that the group had failed to seek audience with President Tinubu or collaborate with his appointed ministers, thereby hindering progress and development initiatives in the North.

Asserting the North’s unity and resilience, Matawalle affirmed President Tinubu’s commitment to addressing the region’s challenges and fostering national unity.



He urged the NEF and similar groups to support the current administration and work together to propel Nigeria forward.

Matawalle dismissed the NEF’s alleged regret for supporting President Tinubu as “unfortunate,” emphasizing the North’s pride in its relationship with the President and the positive impact of his government’s policies on the region.


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