NIGERIA – The leader of the Northern Elders Forum, Professor Ango Abdullahi, has attacked President Muhammadu Buhari over his nationwide broadcast speech on Tuesday to mark Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary.
The elder statesman described the broadcast as a mere routine speech lacking content.
Abdullahi said that the country is merely one theoretically but largely divided in terms of social structures.
According to Abdullahi, Buhari merely spoke of what his government tried to do when he took over reign of government in 2015 and the problems he inherited.
He said, “He talked about the successes, if any, that his government had achieved. But to be honest, in terms of the content and in terms of the tangibles, by tangibles here, meaning how Nigerians feel now, I don’t think there is any reason to celebrate,” he told The Sun.
“These indicators are enough to frighten anyone in terms of what you read in the papers about the struggle for political positions, political leadership, zoning whatever and so on.
“The country is still basically a divided country and this is a reason to fear. Nigeria is one theoretically but it is largely divided in terms of social structures, in terms of political cohesion and so on. These are signs that you worry about in terms of the political future of any country.”
He commended Nigerians for their patience and perseverance in the face of daunting challenges facing the country.
“The Nigerian constitution whether the one, at independence, or whether the one in operation now has been very emphatic in terms of responsibility of government.
“If you read Chapter Two of the present constitution, on the fundamental objective and directive principles of state, it is what the responsibility of governments are to the country and its citizens and what are the responsibility of citizens to the country.
“If you look at that chapter very carefully, you will see that there is a serious dereliction of responsibility on the part of the government, not necessarily this government, in respect of what government must do to the nation and the citizens.
“Our first set of leaders were not even given the opportunity to pass on this culture of good leadership by the interruption of the coup in 1966.
“Most of them were wiped out and from there on the military boys who were not politicians, who had no experience in running government and so on took on the affairs of running the country.
“Before we knew it, they were introducing things that were totally inconsistency and did not tally with the kinds of demand that a developing country like Nigeria should have.
“We thank God for his mercy that Nigeria is still one country, and we are not sure perhaps what would happen given then various indicators on the ground today.”