By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE Presidency yesterday lampooned the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, for giving conditions of existence to a section of the country, describing it as a display of delusional arrogance.
It emphatically reassured Nigerians that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari remained the only democratically elected leadership saddled with the constitutional responsibility to take decisions on behalf of the country and no one else.
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Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement, titled, “Statement on the call by Northern Elders Forum asking a section of the country to leave the federation,” read: “We are aware of the latest statement from the so-called Northern Elders Forum.
“We wish to reassure Nigerians that it remains their democratically elected leadership which takes the decisions that steer our nation – and no one else.
“No self-appointed and unelected group can take this right from Nigerians – no matter how much coverage they might enjoy in the media. Nigerians listen to elected leaders, not opinionated tin-gods who have no traction with any responsible group.
“It is a delusional arrogance that would lead such a group to publicly state terms and conditions for the existence of our nation.
“Who gave them the right to ask for the exclusion, or expulsion of any one, group or section of the country from the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
“The Nigerian government does not take guidance nor invitations from such groups – only from the Nigerian people who put governments in office.
“Any group can refer to themselves as “leaders”, but in Nigeria, if you have not been elected by Nigerians to a leadership role, then you are not – and the government certainly doesn’t recognise you as such.
“Like many other countries around the world, Nigeria is feeling the strain of the current period of volatility and uncertainty. Now is not the time to seek to exacerbate divisions among Nigerians.
”Rather, we call on all Nigerians to come together and work to overcome the challenges we face as one nation, one people.”