The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has rejected the Southern governors’ position that the South should produce the President in 2023. The North, according to the Forum, would not be forced to hand over a democratically elected office.
The Northern Elders Forum, through its Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, stated that the idea that the North would be indirectly threatened, intimidated, or blackmailed into yielding an office that should be decided democratically is unacceptable.
The NEF views the southern governors’ decision as an expression of sentiment that should be discussed in the context of a political process. The NEF views the southern governors’ decision as an expression of sentiment that should be discussed in the context of a political process.
“We are running a democratic government and decisions over where the next president comes from are basically decisions that will be made by voters exercising their rights to choose which candidate best serves their interest,” NEF said.
Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed explained that the southern governors are members of the two dominant parties, the APC and the PDP and that they must wield some power within those parties.
He stated that the southern governors should persuade their parties to zone the presidency to southern states, and then work to persuade Nigerian voters from all parts of the country to vote for that candidate.
He believes that the democratic rights of Nigerian citizens to vote for a candidate cannot be snatched away by threats or intimidation, and he believes that politicians have become so complacent that they believe they will be given leadership in an ultimatum-like manner.