PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron’s second place in the European elections behind Marine Le Pen’s far-right party is a disappointment but will not prompt a change in the government’s reform drive, an Elysee official said on Sunday.
“There is of course some disappointment,” an Elysee official said. “But the score is absolutely honourable compared to how incumbents did in previous European elections. There was no sanction.”
“(The president’s) objective is to intensify Act II of his presidency at the national level, so there is no change in policy to be expected,” an official at Macron’s office said.
“Our goal is for the French to feel the change. We already have positive signals on unemployment and spending power.”
Northern youths under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Group (CNG), has issued a 30-day ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari, to implement the Ruga policy across the country, warning that the group will resort to a line of action after the ultimatum.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja Abdul-Azeez Suleiman with the full complement of the leaders of the coalitions, came hard on Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, accusing him of retracting and disassociating himself from the policy and apparently been obsessed by curious ethnic tendencies and haste to reassure his tribal lords.
The group did not also spare former President Olusegun Obasanjo, southern governors, former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Femi Fani Kayode among many others for opposing the policy, just as they accused President Buhari administration of ‘twisting and wobbling deceitfully around the visibly-stewing security situation in northern Nigeria especially the herders- farmers’ conflict’.
The concluding part of the communique after several hours deliberation, “While we warn all state governors that stand against the implementation of the Ruga initiative to desist and give peace a chance, we place President Buhari and the Federal government on notice that they must act to halt and completely stop this raging madness within 30 days beginning from today, Wednesday, July 3, 2019.
“The Nigerian security agencies are also placed on notice to check and bring under control the current unbridled inflammatory remarks by the southern leaders, in the same manner, they swiftly coined a tag of ‘hate speech’ around the Kaduna Declaration.
“We warn the elders, political and religious leaders of southern Nigeria to urgently halt the inciting remarks that provoke hate against the North, keeping in mind that no single person or group has the sole monopoly of unguarded remarks that instigate hatred.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we advise the federal authorities and the southern leaders to heed the 30-day notice failing which we would most definitely be left with no option than to consider resorting to our decisive line of action,” the group warned.
Highlighting the observations that helped the group arrive at the conclusion, the spokesperson of the group said: “For too long, enemies of the North both foreign and local have worked strenuously to ensure that the region remains backward, divided, weak, confused and bewildered by myriads of challenges and problems so it cannot survive long in the event of a breakup.
“This conspiracy has been perpetrated with the active connivance of some leaders from the North, accommodated by the cowardice of those that present themselves as northern political leaders today and feed on the negligence and insincerely of the federal authorities.
“Throughout the last four years, the administration of President Buhari has twisted and wobbled deceitfully around the visibly stewing security situation in northern Nigeria especially the herders and farmers conflict. The administration had proposed several conflicting and ill-designed approaches to the issue which was apparently only meant to buy time and never to be implemented.
“As evidence of an agenda that has its root and pattern in history, the latest approach similar to the ones operated by the Taraba and Benue state governments that aim to curb the movement of the herders and forestall further clashes with farmers were inadvertently interpreted in ethnic terms by southern Nigerian jingoists in high places.
“Instructively, Yemi Osinbajo, apparently obsessed by curious ethnic tendencies, and in a haste to reassure his tribal lords, quickly retracted by dissociating himself from the Ruga resettlement initiative announced by a government he is part of.
“Thus the proposal, whether by error or by design, provided the southern leaders the excuse to set their dogs of war against the Fulani communities domiciled in, or simply passing through, or grazing in the southern bushes.
“The stage for this scenario was systematically set by one-time President Obasanjo who, previously, flew the false kite of the existence of an agenda for the “Fulanisation and Islamisation” of the country which was immediately orchestrated by the cultural and political leaderships of the three zones that constitute the defunct southern region.
“Trouble-shooters like Femi Fani Kayode and his ilk typically saw it as an opportunity for the venting of their accumulated frustration and pent-up tribal and religious jealousies by inciting the southern people to arms for the ongoing carnage and mayhem against the Fulani. This was encouraged by the persistent hate-filled utterances by various shades of southern leaders and fuelled by the equally venomous sermons by their priests.
“The cleansing operation also derives inspiration and support from the damning remarks of their state governors who also emphatically denounce and reject every effort to share space with fellow Nigerian citizens of northern extraction.
“Yet neither Buhari’s presidency nor our northern leaders could have the courage to see any element of hate in the war tunes constantly sounded and danced to by these warmongering southern elites the way they were quick to coin the phrase “hate speech” against us barely two years ago,” the group quipped.
Speaking further, the group said: “Having come this far, we restate our emphatic repudiation of the vilification of one ethnic and religious group or the other for whatever reason or justification and deem the targeting of the entire Fulani race for vilification, systematic dehumanisation, profiling, alienation or any action that will render them object of attack and persecution, not only immoral and illegal, but also abhorrent to our sensibilities and ordinary decency.
“Accordingly, we remind the nation that so long as the Fulani would not be allowed to enjoy their citizens’ right of living and flourishing in any part of this country including the South, no one should also expect us to allow any southerner to enjoy the same in northern Nigeria.
“We find it odd that some northern political merchants who could not rise to condemn what is happening to their kith and kins and do not deserve to be taken seriously, were busy going round in a bid to sell the conscience of the northerner to Bola Tinubu by shamelessly waging a campaign for a fraudulent shift of power to the South-West in 2019,” the group noted.