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Stand with Tinubu or resign, Matawalle tells northern appointees

The Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle has said all appointees of President Bola Tinubu from the north must take a united stand for the success of the administration or exit it.


Matawalle was reacting to the criticism of his earlier statement by Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed.

Recall, Matawalle had blasted the Northern Elders Forum for threatening that the north would not vote for Tinubu in 2027, calling the group a political paperweight and a burden to the north.

Baba-Ahmed who once was the NEF’s spokesman reprimanded Matawalle for being too hard on the group. He said: “Scathing criticism of NEF by junior minister of defence, Matawalle, is ill- advised. He could have done a better job for this admin if he identified contributions of especially northern ministers and other appointees like me to improving security and reducing poverty in the North”.

Matawalle in his new statement which was a reaction to Baba-Ahmed’s position, said: “Consequent to my position on the recent attack on the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR by a spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), it has come to my attention that Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed who once served as the Spokesperson of the group and currently a Special Adviser on Political Matters in the Presidency took to his page on it to express a different position.

“According to Dr. Baba-Ahmed, my stand against the unjust and spurious attack against the new administration of President Tinubu that is working very hard to reposition our country and economy for better is ‘ill-advised’. He suggested I could have done a better job in my defence of the administration where I have the rare honour to serve as a Minister.

“Dr. Baba-Ahmed’s relationship and affinity with Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) is well-known.

“The fact now is that he is an appointee of the administration as Special Adviser and it is incumbent on him to work for the success of the government, he is part of, protect and defend the government against unjust and vicious attacks from those who hide under ethnic and other primordial interests to heat up the polity for myopic reasons

“It is pertinent to state that every appointee of President Tinubu including Dr. Baba-Ahmed owes the government a copious duty to promote, elucidate and advance the good works and commendable efforts of the government across all sectors.

“As appointees of the government from the North, we must all take a stand, be unequivocal and be counted in the roll of honours for our support and work for the success of the administration we are serving.

“This is not the time to keep quiet in the face of intimidation and misrepresentation of the efforts and achievements of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR.

“We must stand up to be counted for being on the part of the government or take our exit”.


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