- Northern elders group has said that they would not base their support for the presidential candidate in 2023 on religious sentiment
- This was disclosed on Wednesday, April 7, by the chairman of NEF, Ango Abdullahi
- Abdullahi said that they had learnt a great lesson in their choice of the presidential candidate in the past
Professor Ango Abdullahi, the chairman Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), has declared that the north would not vote along ethnicity and faith lines in choosing leaders in 2023.
The Nation reports that he said the northerners had learnt their lesson at a great cost.
Legit.ng gathered that Abdullahi stated no northerner should assume he is guaranteed the support and votes of northerners simply because he is one of them.
The northern leader said experiences have taught the region the values of critical scrutiny of records, dispositions and empathy.
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He spoke in Kaduna on Wednesday, April 7, as convener of Northern People’s Summit on barriers between the people and their leaders.
“Northern voters have supported three southerners, Abiola, Obasanjo and Jonathan to victory in the past, two of them against northerners.
“Northern voters are enlightened and conscious of their responsibilities. They have learnt, perhaps at greater cost than most Nigerians, that ethnicity and faith alone do not make good leaders. They will not accept to be further weakened so that they abandon the same rights all Nigerians enjoy."
He added that the politicians who want northerners to vote in a particular manner should soil their boots and convince northerners how their candidates would improve security, economy and society in the north and the country.
Abdullahi further stated that using restructuring as a threat or bargaining tool for accepting zoning would destroy the imperatives of restructuring and imperil the country.
According to him, politicians and leaders who desire to lead need to understand that Nigerians are watching what they do in the immediate constituencies that would enable them to ask for their support.
“Politicians who want the support and the vote of the northerner but will not raise their voices and act to protect them against underserved treatment in areas where they have power and influence, should not expect to find our people with open arms when they ask for support."
He, however, advised all Nigerian politicians to look around and see how much the ground has shifted from under their feet.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that a report claiming that Afenifere, the southwest-based socio-political group, endorsed a candidate for the 2023 presidential election has been dismissed.
It was reported that Afenifere’s director of communications, Sola Lawal, stated that the group never backed any candidate as claimed by the leader of a South West Agenda, Dayo Adeyeye.
He stated that it was improper for Adeyeye to try to politicise his visit to Pa Reuben Fasoranti, the former Afenifere leader, at a time when the group was still mourning the death of its former spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin.