Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina says the call by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) for President Muhammadu Buhari to resign is borne out of bitterness.
According to him, key figures in the forum became adversaries of the incumbent administration having worked tirelessly to secure appointments but failed.
The presidential spokesman said this in an article titled, “Hiding under the umbrella of insecurity”, the latest installment of his weekly column, “From The Inside…Fridays With Femi Adesina”.
In a Tuesday statement signed by its Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, NEF had said that the Buhari administration “does not appear to have answers to the challenges of security to which we are exposed. We cannot continue to live and die under the dictates of killers, kidnappers, rapists and sundry criminal groups that have deprived us of our rights to live in peace and security.
“Our Constitution has provisions for leaders to voluntarily step down if they are challenged by personal reasons or they prove incapable of leading.
“It is now time for President Buhari to seriously consider that option, since his leadership has proved spectacularly incapable of providing security for Nigerians. Our Forum is aware of the weight of this advice, and it is also aware that we cannot continue to live under these conditions until 2023 when President Buhari’s term ends.”
Adesina described the demands for Buhari’s resignation as “hackneyed calls” re-echoing his earlier description of NEF 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.”
Adesina added that, “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.”