The Northern Elders’ Forum says the region will only vote for competent president regardless of where comes from the 2023 presidential election in the country.
The NEF noted that it won’t repeat the same mistake of voting for just any candidate as done to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) based on sentiment in 2015.
They Forum described Buhari as a disappointment to not only the North but the entire country.
The NEF’s Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed stated this in an interview with newsmen on the sideline of the Meeting of Northern Leaders of Thought and groups held at the Arewa House, Kaduna on Saturday.
Baba-Ahmed, a former Independent National Electoral Commission’s Secretary, said “A northerner and a Southerner have equal rights to contest but Northerners should be very careful of who they vote for in 2023.
“No northerner should take us for granted. That’s how we ended up with president Buhari. We don’t went to repeat the same mistake. If you must be a northerner who’s better all the candidates; for us that’s the bottom line. Its not enough to be a northerner, you have to be the best. You have to be the best for the North and you have to be the best for the rest of Nigeria.
“We are looking for a Nigerian President. If its comes from North, fine but he must be voted for by Nigerians and he must be good and he must be better than all the others. That’s what we are looking for.”
He scored the President Buhari’s regime low in all aspects ranging from the worsening insecurity, corruption to the sorry state of the nation’s economy and summed him(Buhari) up as a “disappointment.”
The former INEC’s scribe further lamented that Nigeria of today was not the country that voted overwhelmingly for the Buhari in 2015.
When asked further why Buhari was a mistake to the North, the NEF’s spokesman, queried, “Why are you asking me why Buhari is a mistake? The evidence is all around you. How did you get here? I don’t know if you live in Kaduna or not but if you came from the somewhere, you must have looked across your shoulders maybe more than 20 times because to leave your house and get back home is a miracle these days in this country. We were not like this.
“Nigerians, Northerners were told that if President Buhari becomes president, we will be secured, he will fight corruption, the economy will improve and now we are worst. This is not fiction; this not propaganda; its the fact on the ground. We have millions of IDPs in the Northwest(Buhari’s zone) and they are refusing to accommodate these people and to consider the fact that we have Internally Displaced People.
“This is not the Nigeria that voted for President Buhari. So, he is a disappointment.”
“And that’s why we are saying to Nigerians and particularly to Northerners be very careful, don’t repeat the same mistake again – choose a Northerner if you want but make sure that is the best among those available including candidates from the south.”
On whether the NEF has chosen its candidate for the 2023, Baba-Ahmed said, “We are not choosers of candidates. We don’t vote. We advice people. We can advice Northern voters. We can advice Nigerians and we will say who we believe on basis of our own assessment and that’s why in my paper.
“We want to see a candidate with a team. We want to see an Igbo man in your team; we want to see a Yoruba man in your team; we want to see a Tiv man in your team, not one individual. Don’t just come to us like Buhari did in 2015 and 2019 and said ‘vote me’.
“We want to vote a team. We want a president who will have a team ready to transit with them to form a We don’t want a president that will take 6 months thinking of who will run his We want to do things differently otherwise the North is doom and this country is doomed.”
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