Minister Urges Northern Appointees to Rally Behind Tinubu Amidst Rift with Northern Elders

The Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, has issued a call to all federal government appointees of northern extraction, urging them to throw their support behind President Bola Tinubu or relinquish their positions.

This plea from Matawalle comes amidst a rift within the northern political landscape, with the Arewa Progressive Forum dissociating itself from recent criticisms leveled by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) against Tinubu’s handling of security issues in the region.

In a statement released by the Arewa Progressive Forum’s National Secretary, Abbas Danbatta, the group expressed dissatisfaction with NEF’s stance, asserting that it did not reflect the collective opinion of the North regarding Tinubu’s performance.

Matawalle’s call for unity follows remarks made by Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Special Adviser on Political Matters in the Presidency, who differed in opinion from the minister’s defense of Tinubu’s administration. Baba-Ahmed, a former NEF spokesperson, criticized Matawalle’s approach, suggesting that a more nuanced defense could have been presented.

In response, Matawalle emphasized the duty of all appointees to support and defend the government against unjust criticism rooted in ethnic or narrow interests. He stressed the importance of highlighting the government’s achievements across all sectors, particularly in the North.

The minister warned against silence or acquiescence in the face of unwarranted criticism, urging appointees to either demonstrate loyalty or make way for others who will.

Meanwhile, the Arewa Progressive Forum voiced support for Matawalle’s response to the NEF, condemning what it viewed as self-serving interests overriding the unity and survival of Nigeria. The group emphasized the need for northern elders to play a neutral and constructive role in shaping national unity and progress.

Commending the joint efforts of the National Security Adviser, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, and Minister of State (Defence), Matawalle, the forum highlighted Tinubu’s approach to security issues in the North-West as commendable compared to his predecessor’s.


Kindly share this story: