Matawalle’s anti-south comments ‘irresponsible’

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The Pan Niger Delta Forum has berated Governor Bello Matawalle over his recent comment that alleged southerners of attacking northerners indiscriminately in their region describing it as “irresponsible” and “unfortunate.”

Matawalle’s subtle threat that the north might launch a reprisal against southerners in its domain came on the heels of similar claims by the Northern Elders Forum.

But PANDEF, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, said while it ignored the warnings of the NEF because the nation was now used to their “unguarded utterances,” similar comments from Matawalle were “preposterous.”

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The statement read, “It is rather most unfortunate that the governor of Zamfara State, Mr. Bello Matawalle, would make such an irresponsible statement. We’ll ignore that of northern elders because the nation is used to their unguarded utterances but for a governor to make such a reckless declaration is completely preposterous.

“And it conveys how awful the nation’s political leadership has deteriorated, where self-seekers are thrust into hallowed positions, instead of patriots who would pursue national concord, particularly, at a moment like this when the country is facing daunting socio-economic challenges.

The PANDEF spokesman argued that with the country in a state of tension, such comments were not expected of anyone, much less a leader like the governor.

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“Nigeria is on the edge of a precipice, no one can tell what will come next. What is expected of leaders across the country now, especially the elite, is to rise to the occasion and build bridges of understanding, and not to reduce themselves to ‘local wildcats,’ fanning the embers of discord and hatred to aggravate the already precarious situation.

PANDEF also categorically stated that restructuring was not only a necessity but expedient for the survival of Nigeria as a united entity.

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