Northern Elders’ Forum knocks Presidency, says allegation untrue on Secession

The Northern Elders Forum has described as untrue claims by the Presidency that it was instigating a section of Nigeria to leave the country.

The organisation said it believes in the right of all Nigerians to aspire to their dreams.

The spokesperson for NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, made the clarification in a statement issued on Tuesday night.

He said, “The attention of Northern Elders Forum has been drawn to a statement by Malam Garba Shehu, Special Assistant to the President on Media, claiming that the Forum has released a statement instigating a section of Nigeria to leave the country.

“Malam Garba Shehu’s statement did not quote a single word in the ‘statement’, and did not mention its signatory or its date.

“As a former journalist, he must know that no self-respecting journalist will take this statement seriously. His statement was entirely a monologue castigating the Forum over fiction which only he can understand.

“The Forum believes in the rights of all Nigerians to live in peace and aspire to their dreams.It believes in the utility and desirability of a united and strong Nigeria which will meet the aspirations of all citizens.When the Forum made comments in the past about the challenges to our union, security or governance, it always did so openly and in a responsible manner. It is baffling to see this unfair attribution from the Presidency, at a time when calm nerves are needed, and statesmanship should be on display.

“The Northern Elders Forum restates that it made no such release, and advises leaders to note the very sensitive times in which we live at the moment.”

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