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NEF endorsed Tinubu on expectations, not principle — Masari

Former Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has chided the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and others that have been expressing regrets for supporting President Bola Tinubu’s…

Former Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has chided the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and others that have been expressing regrets for supporting President Bola Tinubu’s victory as supporters without principles.

He said for anyone who supported the president to turn back in less than a year to express regret only meant the support was based on expectations and not principles.

Recall that the NEF, through its spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said last month that the “North made a mistake in voting Bola Tinubu to the presidency in 2023, and it is unlikely that they will repeat the same error in the future.” The statement had generated varying reactions, with Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle berating the forum.

Speaking with Daily Trust, the former governor said it was too early in the administration’s year for most of the criticisms it has suffered, insisting that the fuel subsidy removal that has plunged the country into untold hardship was equally promised during the campaign by the other leading contestants in the 2023 presidential election.

“Those who say they are regretting supporting him (Tinubu) are saying it because they did not support on principles. They supported him on expectations, and when those expectations were not met for them, then they could say they regretted it,” he said.

“The problem is that some of us stood for principles (in supporting Tinubu), and a government that has come to serve for four years has served for six months, nine months, and you are passing judgments on it; that is absolutely wrong,” he said, insisting that the economic crises in Nigeria are not peculiar to the country.

Referring to the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Peter Obi, who have been very critical of the APC-led government’s policies, Masari insisted that there was no magic that both of them and others could have performed to ameliorate the pains Nigerians are going through within the period Tinubu has been in power.

“Some of the people who are talking now, their own would have been worse. Since during the campaign, all the political parties, including those who are talking now, didn’t they promise that they would remove subsidy? Is there any political party that did not campaign on subsidy removal? Let us not go there. Because we are Nigerians, we are bad losers. And sometimes, the winners are supposed to be more accommodating and patient. That’s the price of leadership,” he added.

He said Nigerians should trust the process, saying “the president has promised that he is aware of our pains. If he had said there was no pain, even we in the same party would have challenged him.”

But reacting to the position that neither Atiku nor Obi would have done any better, the spokesman of the LP Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, said the historical precedents of Obi have proven that Masari is wrong.

He said Obi has demonstrated both while in the private sector and when he became governor of Anambra State that it is his forte to take an enterprise or a state from a terrible condition to an outstanding one and that the plans he had laid out for his governance would have quickly addressed some of the issues that plunged Nigerians into this hardship in the first instance.

 

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