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Northern elders reply Jonathan, say sitting leaders are like pick-pockets

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Northern elders reply
Jonathan, say sitting leaders
are like pick-pockets

Ambassador Maitama Sule-led Northern Elders Forum
(NEF) yesterday hit back at President Goodluck
Jonathan for describing some elder statesmen as
touts.
Addressing the press at his Zaria farm yesterday, the
spokesman of NEF, Professor Ango Abdullahi said,
even some sitting leaders were worse than pick-
pockets in motor parks, adding that, President
Jonathan shouldn’t have made such abusive
statement on the nation’s statesmen, who fought for
the unity of the country.
Professor Abdullahi, who is also a member of Arewa
Consultative Forum (ACF) also tongue-lashed the
Tanko Yakasai-led Northern Elders Council (NEC),
saying the group lacked principle and couldnot speak
for the generality of Nigerians.
The former Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) vice
chancellor and Special Adviser on Agriculture during
President Obasanjo’s administration said, NEF was
more focused and committed to the political well-
being of Northerners and Nigerians in general.
According to him: “President Jonathan should know
that in a motor park, there are touts and there are
pick-pockets, so, if some past leaders are touts, some
sitting leaders are pick-pockets and thieves. So, you
have to make your pick from that.
“This country is complaining about corruption and the
President himself has said that, stealing is corruption.
“And so, for him to even come around and refer to
some people as touts, he should remember that, some
of them sitting there are pick-pockets and some of
them are even worse than pick-pockets.
“Pick-pockets in a motor park cheat the passengers as
well as the owner of the vehicles, while the touts do
some works for a commission.
“So, you see, these are some of the things that are
clearly pointing to the fact that, the incompetence that
we have been complaining about is the additional
basis of rejecting the man’s leadership in 2015, it is
now clearly showing across the country.
“It used to be Northern Elders Forum who were seen
as partisan, sectional, divisive and so on.
Whenever we say something, it was misconstrued as
outright opposition against the government or against
the President, because we are not with the President
at the moment, but thank God, the truth will always be
one.
People across the country today seem to have agreed
that this is an incompetent government that is about
to wreck or completely ruin this country, and the
sooner Nigerians come to grips with this, the better.
“Jonathan may disagree with Obasanjo, he is one of
our leaders that come out to say things the way they
are. You can criticise him on what he has done or
what he has not been able to do, but he should also
be seen as he has always been since 1979 when I
knew him.
“This is a man that has been saying things as he has
seen them. It is only very recently, some well-
meaning Nigerians like him have come to agree that,
the country is being put in the wrong direction under
the leadership of the current administration.
“The Elders Council, led by Alhaji Tanko Yakasai we
have said this before, what is Northern Elders
Council? Who are they? Who do they speak for? But,
we speak for Nigerians,  but more so for Northern
Nigerians.
“We did not hide the fact that we protect the interest
of Northern Nigerians at any stage, without sacrificing
the rights of other Nigerians elsewhere under any
guise.”

_PUNCH

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