From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency on Tuesday replied the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) for asking a section of the country, to secede from Nigeria, is “delusional arrogance” for them to “publicly state terms and conditions for the existence of our nation.”
In a statement by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said only democratically elected leaders have such powers and not self-appointed and unelected group.
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The statement read thus:
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.
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It is a delusional arrogance that would lead such a group to publicly state terms and conditions for the existence of our nation.
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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?
The Nigerian government does not take guidance nor invitations from such groups – only from the Nigerian people who put governments in office.
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.