Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Chairman of the Northern Elders Council, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai and the coalition of Arewa youths, have berated the Presidency for attacking the Northern Elders’ Forum and other socio-cultural groups.
Afenifere asked Nigerians to vote wisely in 2019 stating that “Nigeria is doomed if (President) Buhari is not voted out.”
The Presidency had on Friday expressed hard words against some leaders who recently faulted the way President Muhamamdu Buhari was handling the nation’s security challenges, describing them as selfish leaders.
Leaders of some socio-cultural organisations including the Northern Elders Forum, the Yoruba- socio-cultural group, Afenifere, and Ohanaeze Ndigbo had in a communique they issued after their meeting in Abuja accused Buhari’s administration of incompetence in handling the security situation in the country.
The spokesperson for Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said the Buhari administration had nothing to show for the three budgets it had implemented, stressing that the government had been unable to complete a single project in the country.
He said, “They have implemented three budgets over the last years, but they have not completed one project, what have they done with all the money? This regime is highly incompetent, there is no governance going on in the country.”
Afenifere also described Buhari’s military operations as ineffective.
“The President said last week that his security chiefs are still racking their brains, so what achievement have they recorded if they are still racking their brains? They have carried out all kinds of ineffective military operations,” it stated.
Yakasai, on his part, said Buhari and the Federal Government have no right to condemn people for expressing their opinions.
Yakasai said the 1999 Constitution guarantees Nigerians the right of opinion and that citizens have the right to express satisfaction or otherwise with the government’s actions.
He said, “The President has no power or right to deny any Nigerian a right guaranteed by the constitution. Every Nigerian has a constitutional right to hold an opinion and to express it.
“Everyone can voice his opinion in a democracy. It is up to Nigerians to say whether they are satisfied with the performance of the government or not.
“Elders or no elders, Nigerians have the right to say they are satisfied with what the government has done or not.”
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, a coalition of over 32 groups in the North, told the Presidency to address the issues raised by the elders, instead of hurling insults at them.
The National President of the AYCF, Mr. Yerima Shettima, in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, said the elders deserved accolades for brainstorming on the way forward for Nigeria, rather than the Presidency’s resort to “crude attacks and motor-park insults.
“To say that elders, who have no material needs in their very old years, are shedding crocodile tears because a government that has been rated the most corrupt in history has blocked their access to public funds is laughable and ridiculous.”