Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, has lambasted members of the Northern Elders Forum over calls for the resignation of Buhari from power.
Adesina, in one of his weekly articles, had admitted the failures of the current administration as he noted that the country was going through a war.
He, however, lambasted those who had called for the President’s resignation, particularly the NEF which he described as “Generals without troops.” Adesina further alleged that members of the NEF were bitter and angry because of their failure to get into the Buhari’s administration.
The Special Adviser further blamed the insecurity challenge in the country on “Individuals, groups, organizations, political parties, who had been against President Muhammadu Buhari, and who had been given bloody noses at the polls”.
He wrote, “Security is everything, nobody can dispute that. You have to be alive to enjoy every other thing government is providing; roads, rail, bridges, airports, food security, in fact, everything.
“That is why whenever you hear President Muhammadu Buhari talk of the priorities of his administration for the country, he starts with security, stressing that before you can efficiently manage an organization, town, city, or country, you first have to secure it. He then proceeds to talk about reviving the economy, and fighting corruption. But security is always number one.
“Does Nigeria have security challenges? Severe ones. I’ve always said it, while adding that the government was taking up the gauntlet.
“Two weeks ago, after the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train by terrorists, I wrote that Nigeria was actually at war. It was, however, silly and idiotic to see a newspaper twist that piece in a news story, writing; ‘Femi Adesina finally admits that Nigeria is at war.’ Otiose. Witless. Illiterate. Who does not know that our country had been at war against insurgency since 2009, when Boko Haram manifested in the Northeast?
“But we leave those who twist every word to continue to contort themselves, till they completely get out of shape, tying themselves up in a labyrinth. It will serve them right.
The point of interest today is the hackneyed calls on President Buhari to resign over the country’s security challenges, the latest coming from a so-called Northern Elders Forum (NEF), a group I’d once described as “Generals without troops.”
“The Forum is largely made of angry, bitter, self-seeking individuals, who had thought they would be leading President Buhari by the nose when he emerged in 2015. In fact, key personalities in the group made strenuous efforts to be part of the administration. When they didn’t succeed, they became adversaries.
“It is on record that NEF had always opposed the Buhari administration since its gambit failed, and before the 2019 presidential election, it openly endorsed Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as next President. And that completely vitiates whatever position the Forum adopts today. It is partisan, bilious, by no means neutral. It is from a self-serving standpoint.
“Between 2009 and 2022, there were at least 271 mass shootings in United States of America, resulting in 1,518 people killed, and 980 wounded. Just this week, there has been the Brooklyn Subway Shooting, in which at least 23 people were critically injured. In all these, did you hear calls for the resignation of any American President? It is on record that last year was the deadliest in a decade, in terms of mass shootings. Have you heard of calls for the resignation of President Joe Biden by a caterwauling band? No.
“Every life is important. No single life should be taken wantonly. Not in America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and definitely not in Nigeria. And when challenges occur, as we currently have, it should not be turned to a leaky political umbrella, from under which you hide to express hatred and malice.
“That is what is happening in Nigeria today. Individuals, groups, organizations, political parties, who had been against President Muhammadu Buhari, and who had been given bloody noses at the polls, are now using the smokescreen of insecurity to vent their spleen. We failed to oust him through the ballot box, let’s run him out of town by another means. Let’s instigate the country against him. But majority of Nigerians know better.”