2023: We Will Support A Southerner Only For Our Own Interest – Northern Elders
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) says it will support a southern presidential candidate in 2023 only if it is in the best interest of the north.
NEF while noting that the north will continue leading Nigeria because the region has the numbers, said the coming presidential election is not one in which the northern territory will play second fiddle.
Speaking on Sunday at a lecture in memory of the late Maitama Sule in Zaria Kaduna State, NEF spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, stated that the north can decide for itself who they would support come 2023.
“If they do not like the fact that it might be a northerner that will emerge as president, too bad. If we want to support a southerner, we will support a southerner because that will be in our own interest, rather than in somebody’s interest.
“And we can decide for ourselves, we do not need anybody to tell us what to do,” Baba-Ahmed stressed.
With the 2023 presidential polls in view, leaders and politicians of southern extraction have been clamoring for a shift in power, arguing that the region must provide the nation’s next leader.
However, NEF through its spokesperson rejected the push to have Nigeria’s next president come from the southern region.
He said the northern leaders will not allow the next president to be zoned to the southern part of the country, because the practice is not in line with the democratic principle of power attained by a majority of votes.
Baba-Ahmed maintained that there is nothing wrong if the north produces the next president after Muhammadu Buhari, adding that this is possible not because the northerners are superior to others, but because the rules of politics avail the region a great opportunity.
The NEF spokesman submitted that the north will never be cowed into submission, nor forced to give up in the quest to retain power in 2023 considering its huge human population that gives the region an advantage over others.
While stating that the future of the north is not for sale, Baba-Ahmed also maintained that the region will not be threatened, intimidated, or blackmailed into giving up its right to a democratic office.
“Why does anyone need to threaten us and cajole us and intimidate us? If you don’t bring the presidency here, you will see, okay let’s see, we are waiting to see.
“If they tell you the north must play second fiddle, say No! If the rule of the game says you should vote for the candidate of your choice, vote for the candidate of your choice.
“If they do not like the fact that it might be a northerner that will emerge as president, too bad,” he stated.
According to him, no region should not be compelled to give up a democratically elected office that can be sought by any person irrespective of where he or she comes from.
Baba-Ahmed however, urged citizens from the north to be humble when eventually power is retained in the region, noting that “power comes from God”.
The NEF spokesman’s comments come a few days after governors from the southern region of Nigeria declared their support to have the 2023 presidency zoned to their region.
Rising from a meeting in Enugu, Chairman of the Forum and Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said the leaders have resolved that the next president of Nigeria must come from the southern part in line with politics of equity, justice, and fairness.
This post was written by oluchi and was first published at www.channelstv.com