The presidency on Tuesday, took the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to the cleaners, describing the group as delusional and arrogant.
The presidency in a statement by the senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu said NEF has no right to speak on behalf of Nigerians just because they have access to the media.
It warned NEF to desist from making inflammatory statements capable of causing tension in the country, adding that the group should step down from the role of Self-appointed spokesperson for Nigerians.
Rather than promote calls for some sections of the country to be allowed to secede, the presidency in the statement called on Nigerians to promote and work towards unity.
The full statement reads: “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?
“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 amongst Nigerians.
“Rather, we call on all Nigerians to come together and work to overcome the challenges we face as one nation, one people.”
Naija News recalls NEF had previously told the federal government to allow the southeasterners who are demanding a break up from Nigeria to leave the country since it seems the leaders are also in support of the move.