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Defend Tinubu or quit, Matawalle tells Baba-Ahmed, other Northern appointees

Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, on Monday challenged all the appointees from the North in the current administration to come out openly and…

Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, on Monday challenged all the appointees from the North in the current administration to come out openly and defend President Bola Tinubu.

Matawalle, a former governor of Zamfara State, specifically called on Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Special Adviser to the President on political matters in the office of the Vice President, and other leaders to take a position in support of the government.

He said this following what he perceived as comments against the federal government by Baba-Ahmed the former spokesperson of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF).

In a Facebook post in Hausa, on Sunday, Baba-Ahmed said it would have been better for the Tinubu administration if Matawalle had listed his achievements as minister.

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Baba-Ahmed had said this after the minister described the NEF as a political paperweight which is a burden to the north.

The minister tackled NEF over a recent comment made by the forum that the north regrets voting for the President in the 2023 general election.

But in a statement on Monday, Matawalle said any appointee must defend and promote the administration they work for, saying, “Dr. Baba-Ahmed’s relationship and affinity with the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) is well-known.”

He wondered why appointees from the North kept mute “in the face of intimidation” after the forum attacked the President.

He said, “Consequent to my position on the recent attack on the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu by a spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, it has come to my attention that Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed who once served as the Spokesperson of the group and currently a Special Adviser on Political Matters in the Presidency took to his page on it to express a different position.

“According to Dr. Baba-Ahmed ,my stand against the unjust and spurious attack against the new administration of President Tinubu that is working very hard to reposition our country and economy for better as ‘ill-advised’. He suggested I could have done a better job in my defence of the administration where I have the rare honour to serve as a Minister.

“Dr. Baba-Ahmed’s relationship and affinity with Northern Elders’ Forum is well-known. The fact now is that he is an appointee of the administration as Special Adviser and it is incumbent on him to work for the success of the government he is part of, protect and defend the government against unjust and vicious attacks from those who hide under ethnic and other primordial interests to heat up the polity for myopic reasons

“It is pertinent to state that every appointee of President Tinubu including Dr. Baba-Ahmed owe the government a copious duty to promote, elucidate and advance the good works and commendable efforts of the government across all sectors.

“As appointees of the government from the North, we must all take a stand, be unequivocal and be counted in the roll of honours for our support and work for the success of the administration we are serving.

“This is not the time to keep quiet in the face of intimidation and misrepresentation of the efforts and achievements of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We must stand up to be counted for being on the part of government or take our exit.”

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