In a statement on Sunday, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, accused the group of being political in its activities.
The group had said that the insecurity in some Northern states of the country was an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari and the governors of those states have lost control over the protection of the people.
It added in a statement by its coordinator, Ango Abdullahi, that President Buhari’s government has failed in its fight against bandits and Boko Haram insurgents.
According to the NEF, the people of the North are now completely at the mercy of armed gangs who wreak havoc at will in towns and villages, as a result of the recent escalation of attacks by bandits, rustlers, and insurgents.
In his response, Adesina believes the statement by the group is not strange and the Presidency’s position on what the group represents remains unchanged.
“A mere irritant and featherweight,” he said in the statement. “The former vice-chancellor signed the statement under the banner of the 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.
“Before the 2019 presidential election, the one-man army called NEF had shown its antipathy against President Buhari and its preference for another candidate. They all got beaten together,” he added.
The President’s aide insisted that the NEF was merely waving a flag at half-mast, stressing that its comments should be disregarded.
He, however, stated that President Buhari has steadily and steadfastly focused on the task of retooling Nigeria.