By Ezeocha Nzeh
Pro President Muhammadu Buhari group, the Buhari Media Organisation) BMO) on Tuesday blamed the Northern Elders Forum (NEF)and Northern elites for the much higher talked about under development in the zone
BMO in a statement issued by its Chairman and Secretary, Niyi Akinsiju and Casino Madueke I sister that the northern elders should blame themselves and not president Buhari for the zones woes, adding that their allegations against the president was consumed by its hatred for President Muhammadu Buhari to see anything good in his administration.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) says this is even so in spite of the administration’s major strides in tackling insecurity and poverty, particularly in northern Nigeria.
BMO said the NEF, as reflected in its claims that the North is worse off in the last five years, is just keen on continuing its pre-election campaign against a President that remained the man of the masses across the country.
“There has never been a time when this group of Northern elite supported President Buhari, and this is because they knew he would never pander to the interest of people who had for decades contributed to the impoverishment of the North.
“It is on record that many of the challenges the North is battling today have a lot to do with the manner the oligarchs implemented a deliberate socio-economic policy to keep the people in perpetual poverty.
“None of these self-styled Northern elders has a notable public record of poverty alleviation initiative targeted at even the millions of out-of-school children that are a ready tool in the hands of the political elite.
“The result has been the trend of banditry and other violent crimes which have been said to be a fallout of several years of neglect of the people.
“Here we have a man that is rising to the occasion, yet individuals including Professor Ango Abdullahi and Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, a former Chief of Staff to former Senate President Bukola Saraki are whipping up hateful public sentiments against the President who introduced the largest social investment scheme in Sub Saharan Africans to take millions of people, even in the North, out of poverty.
“Is it not disturbing that a group which claimed to be representing the interest of a region is pretending not to know that insurgents once set up a Caliphate and hoisted their flag in North-East Nigeria but can barely hold any territory today?
“There was also a time that President Buhari was accused of focusing too much attention on the North because of the attention he was giving to the rehabilitation of areas ravaged by the Book Haram insurgency, yet an elitist group believes that he has not done much for that part of the country.
“In case they have forgotten, there is a North-East Development Commission that has the mandate to carry out what is technically a Marshal Plan in the ravaged region”.
BMO argued that the NEF position that the President lacked a commitment to check insecurity in the country is not tenable judging by on-ground realities.
“If Ango Abdullahi and co mean well for Nigeria, and the people they claim to be representing, they would have realised that the administration has been taking steps to check new security challenges.
“Are they so cut off from reality that none of them is aware of the President’s community policing initiative which is targeted at ensuring that communities are involved in making their domains safer and more secure?
“And since the elders’ forum appears well-read, they must surely know that this government has since 2015 procured 22 aircraft and is expecting 17 others including 2 Super Tucano jets to give added air power to the Nigerian armed forces.
“We make bold to say that only people out to play politics or are outright members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will make such blanket comments about security and poverty in northern Nigeria.
“President Buhari has never denied that the country has a security challenge, but he has always harped on a united front against terror groups. This we urge the forum to do rather than the vainglorious attempt to play politics.”