Minister of State for Defence, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, has criticized the Katsina Elders’ Forum for their recent threats against President Bola Tinubu’s potential re-election in 2027.
Matawalle, while questioning the legitimacy of the Elders’ stance, took the opportunity to highlight their silence on failures during the tenure of former President Buhari.
The minister condemned the Katsina Elders for issuing what he termed a “reckless statement” on behalf of Northern Nigeria without considering the diversity of opinions within the region.
He emphasized that the primary concern for Northern Nigeria should be the security of lives and property, a commitment he attributed to President Tinubu.
Matawalle, en route to a world conference for defence ministers in Riyadh and to perform lesser Hajj, expressed his dismay at the Elders’ selective criticism, questioning why they remained silent on Buhari’s failures, including security challenges and incomplete projects in the region.
He challenged the legitimacy of the Elders’ Forum to speak on behalf of the entire North on such sensitive matters.
The minister urged the Katsina Elders’ Forum to rethink their position, cease creating tension, and focus on fostering unity for the overall development of Nigeria.
He stressed that President Tinubu’s agenda is national, focusing on economic development, security, and the welfare of all Nigerians.
His words: “Do Katsina Elders have the right to speak on behalf of Northern people? How can the elders who failed to support the President and their own, former President Muhammadu Buhari, to win Katsina State make such a reckless statement on behalf of Northern people?
“Katsina Elders have forgotten how they betrayed Buhari and President Tinubu by their failure to ensure that President Tinubu wins the majority of votes in their state in the 2023 presidential election.
“Is the protest by Katsina Elders during the 2023 presidential election against former President Muhammadu Buhari, who asked them to support President Tinubu, not embarrassing enough?
“Did the Elders forget that Allah says, ‘Power belongs to HIM and can give it to whoever HE wishes at any time HE so desires’?”
Matawalle further asked the elders why they did not ensure the former President completed the Abuja-Kano-Katsina road and the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua International Airport extension project before leaving office.
“Yet another question for the Katsina Elders is why they did not warn the former President to stop the carnage against the people of Northern Nigeria when banditry and other security challenges persisted.
“Why were the Elders silent on the failures of their own over terrorism and large-scale corruption?
“Let me also draw the attention of the Katsina Elders’ Forum to the fact that when former President Buhari’s Minister of Transportation decided to locate the Transportation University in the former President’s hometown, Daura, other Nigerians did not protest against that decision, as they believed it was in the interest of unity and peaceful coexistence of the country.
“I, therefore, strongly advise the Katsina Elders to think twice and stop heating up the polity, but rather concentrate on what binds Nigerians and Nigeria as an entity for the development of our dear country,” the minister said.