BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – The Presidency on Sunday mocked the membership of Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) as paper tigers who are incapable of withstanding any challenge

In scathing exchanges over President Muhammadu Buhari’s performance score-sheet in the last five years, the Presidency said the NEF is actually seeking attention being ineffectual and unable to attract credible names to its fold

The NEF had triggered off the latest brickbats with its spokesperson, Professor Ango Abdullahi, accusing the President of disappointing Nigerians by his display of helplessness and inability to address the nation’s security challenges.

But in dismissing the accusations, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said contrary to their claims of relevance, NEF is a one-man squad, made up of only Abdullahi, a former vice chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

He stated that NEF, which cannot boast of credible membership, “is merely waving a flag that is at half-mast” while the president is focused on his job.

According to Adesina; “Professor Ango Abdullahi on Sunday signed a long-winding statement on many issues relating to the North, and purportedly to the country.

“The former vice chancellor signed the statement under the banner of Northern Elders Forum (NEF). Hearing that title, you would think the body was a conglomeration of true elders. But the truth is that NEF is just Ango Abdullahi, and Ango Abdullahi is NEF. It is a quasi-organisation that boasts of no credible membership, and its leader is akin to a General without troops.”

Accusing the NEF of always demonstrating ill-feelings towards Mr President, the Media aide said; “Before the 2019 presidential election, the one-man army called NEF had shown its antipathy against President Muhammadu Buhari and its preference for another candidate. They all got beaten together.”

“NEF is merely waving a flag that is at half-mast. President Buhari steadily and steadfastly focuses on the task of retooling Nigeria and discerning Nigerians know the true state of the nation. They don’t need a paper tiger to tell them anything”, Adesina’s statement said.

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