• News - North West - Zamfara
  • Updated: April 21, 2024

Marafa rebukes Matawalle over comments on Northern elders

Marafa rebukes Matawalle over comments on Northern elders

Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa, Coordinator of the Tinubu/Shettima 2023 Presidential Campaign in Zamfara State and a prominent APC member has responded to the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, on his remarks concerning Northern elders.

Matawalle referred to the Northern Elders Forum as a "political burden" and "paperweights" in a statement headlined "Tinubu Presidency: Northern Elders Forum, a political burden to the North, they do not speak for the region."

Marafa disagreed with Matawalle's viewpoint in a statement issued on Sunday in Gusau and advised the latter to concentrate on Tinubu's positive contributions rather than his negative ones.

He expressed displeasure over Matawalle calling the significant Northern elders a problem, opining that it is impolite and does not help President Tinubu.

Marafa believes Tinubu requires assistance from his team to improve things for the country and demanded that the minister recant his disrespectful comments and apologize to the Northern elders and people.

“In the last one week, I have been inundated with calls from well-meaning and prominent stakeholders in our region and party, the APC, who know my relationship with the president.

“They are worried and disturbed that the unfortunate statement by the Minister of State for Defence, if not addressed, could affect the president’s electoral fortunes in our region because it will be seen as if the minister spoke the mind of the president or the Presidency.

“The crux of the matter is that; whether you like them or not these people are called Northern Elders, so, unless they are stripped of that title by the people of the region, insulting them is tantamount to insulting the entire people of the region.

“It’s not in our culture and upbringing to insult elders. No decent society will refer to its elders as a burden and paperweights. The North is not an exception.

“As one of the senators who worked very closely with Asiwaju as party leader (as he was then called) from the formation of APC through the primaries that led to the emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari as APC presidential candidate in Lagos, the politics of the National Assembly leadership in 2015 and 2019 and the processes and intrigues that characterized the 2023 Presidential Primaries, I can say without mincing words that President Tinubu holds the North, the Northerners, and their leaders in high esteem.

“Although, I’m not the mouthpiece of either the president or the Presidency, as a Northerner and an elder in the region, as an APC stakeholder and one that has worked closely with both the president and the Vice President,”

“I want to state categorically that this view expressed by Mr Matawalle is his personal opinion and not in any way that of Mr President or the Presidency, and should, therefore, be disregarded.”

“I know for sure that the North, Northerners, and the Northern elders are neither a burden nor a paperweight in the scheme of things in the region and the country as a whole,” Senator Marafa concluded.

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