The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has described as “very uncouth and rude warning”, the statement issued by Garba Shehu against patriotic organisations and responsible individuals like the respected Pastor Enoch Adeboye that Nigeria should be restructured to avert a break-up.
While insisting on restructuring, the organisation told the Presidency that it “will not succumb to their narrow idea.”
The SMBLF said, “sounding like spokesman of Pharaoh in Ancient Egypt”, Shehu “dismissed the recurring agitations as unpatriotic outbursts.”
Shehu had in his statement said, ”The Presidency responds to the recurring threats to the corporate existence of the country with factions giving specific timelines for the President to do one thing or another or else, in their language, “the nation will break up.”
”This is to warn that such unpatriotic outbursts are unhelpful and unwarranted as this government will not succumb to threats and take any decision out of pressure at a time when the nation’s full attention is needed to deal with the security challenges facing it at a time of the COVID – 19 health crisis.”
But the SMBFL in a statement by Yinka Odumakin (South West), Chief Guy Ikokwu (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South South) and Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), accused the regime of the President, Major General Muhammad’s Buhari (retd), of talking down on Nigeria in very intemperate language.
The statement titled, ‘Stop playing Pharaoh’ partly read, “We are perturbed that instead of giving assurances about rebuilding the country towards inclusivity, the regime is talking down on Nigeria in very intemperate language.
“We want to make it clear to the regime that it cannot cow us by using cantonment approach to national issues. We will not accept turning us to second class citizens on our land not even with threats of arrests or assassinations.
“Should we be clapping for the government and not talk when the Customs appoints eight Deputy Comptrollers from a section of the country? Are we expected to be saying well done when DSS recruits 535 cadets from North West and North East and only 93 from the entire South and North Central?
“If Garba Shehu is not lexically challenged, he should know that those calling for restructuring are more patriotic than those running Nigeria towards implosion. Patriotism is to corporate Nigeria for all and not the sectional idea of Nigeria by the nepotists.
“We will not succumb to their narrow idea of Nigeria fully assured that this too shall come to pass. Therefore, let us restructure now and withdraw from the path of implosion forewarned by patriots at home and abroad.”