Afenifere, PANDEF, NEF fire Buhari over comment Niger Republic’ll protect him after leaving office

President Muhammadu Buhari has drawn the ire of the Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere and Middle Belt Forum (MBF) over his comment that should anyone wanted to move against him after leaving office, the Government of Niger Republic would rise in his defence.
President Buhari had spoken extempore at the commissioning of the new corporate headquarters of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), in Abuja, where he was quoted to have made the above statement.
He had told the gathering that he was speaking his mind, reiterating his earlier decision to be far away from Abuja at the end of his administration.
The President was quoted to have said, “That is why when I became the President, my first visit was to Niger, Chad and Cameroon because, based on personal and national issues, the neighbourhood is very important.

“If you don’t secure the confidence and cooperation of your neighbours, you are in trouble, your children and grandchildren will be in trouble.
“So, it is very good that I established a relationship with my neighbours. I said these few things about my personal belief because I have only six more days to go. And I try to plan to be as far away from Abuja as possible.
“Thank goodness, I come from an area which is far away from Abuja. I said if anybody forces me, I have a good relationship with my neighbours, Niger people will defend me.”
Reacting to President Buhari’s comment, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, described his remarks as a ‘sad commentary’ on his administration, noting that Nigerians would not miss him when he exits office.

Afenifere described President Buhari’s stance as ‘non-committal’ to Nigeria and that Nigerians would not miss him when he exits office.
Afenfere’s General Secretary, Chief Sola Ebiseni said, “As I said in a recent interview, the only thing Nigerians are expecting from Buhari is his exit. So, all these dry comic banter are of no moment.
‘’It is a sad commentary on his administration that he could bring the giant of Africa and the awesome Commander-in-Chief of West Africa, through ECOMOG, on its knees before the boys even for personal refuge.
“As he steps out, it is unfortunate that the President is unperturbed that his feet are still being soiled by the blood of citizens in Kaduna, Plateau and everywhere in the hands of terrorists.
“All things promised – enhanced security, economy and anti-corruption, became far worse than hitherto. Let him go wherever pleases him, Nigerians will certainly not miss him.”
Also reacting to President Buhari’s comment, the National President of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Dr. Bitrus Pogu said, “I recall that he had some time ago said if Nigerians disturbed him after leaving office he would relocate to Niger Republic.

“This latest statement means that he meant what he said before, that he would relocate if disturbed. It simply shows that he is not committed to the Nigerian state and his commitment lies elsewhere.
“And it is unfortunate that Nigerians elected such a president who presided over them for eight years. So, we have to think wisely next time in selecting who would lead us. That person’s commitment has to be weighty.
“Today we have somebody who is also alleged to have dual citizenship. He is said to have the citizenship of Nigeria and Guinea or whatever it is. In that case, where will his loyalty be? Will he be 100 per cent loyal to Nigeria?
“So, it is up to Nigerians to judge their leaders based on who they are and who they might be, based on their behaviour. “It is unfortunate that President Buhari, rather than jettisoning what he said before, has, indeed, re-emphasised that he would be defended by people outside Nigeria, it is unfortunate.”
In its reaction, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), said the President’s statement only validated earlier speculations of his ties with the people of Niger Republic.
The National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Ken Robinson said, “PANDEF does not believe that such a statement was made by President Muhammadu Buhari. Maybe someone else made the statement on his behalf.
“But if it is true that the outgoing President of Nigeria made such statement, then it validates the speculations and insinuations that have been because of his attitude and disposition to some of the neighbouring countries, especially, Niger Republic, where the government of Nigeria was trying to construct a railway from Nigeria to Niger.
“In fact, some persons were also trying to site a refinery in the Niger Republic. It validates the rumoured ties the outgoing president has with that country.”
Also reacting last night, the Northern Elders’ Forum, NEF, described as ‘unpresidential’, the remarks by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Forum also said the statement was not only a bad attempt at being sarcastic to wave away the national discontent to his serial misrule, but a vindication of its earlier warnings about his leadership. NEF’s Director of Youth and Mobilisation, Alhaji Nastura Sharif, said: “This remark by Buhari is apart from being ‘unpresidential’, also a vindication of what we have all along been pointing out.

“Long before the elections that brought him to power, we have on several occasions alerted that Buhari did not have the necessary skill, the competence and capacity to lead the country.

“We have in specific terms alerted that he never even had the political will to be Nigerian president except for his obsession with power and deep-seated vendetta against classes of people and individuals who he perceived as enemies.
“That’s now history, at least everyone is by now aware that Buhari has never had the interest of the nation at heart beyond showmanship.”

AfenifereMiddle Belt ForumNiger Republic
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