The Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi, Thursday said the North has no preferred candidate for the 2023 general elections.
According to him, the geo-political zone will not, under any circumstance, support any candidate who will emerge at the detriment of the region.
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The elder statesman, while speaking at the launch of a book in Kaduna, said the North will participate in all political and electoral activities.
He said the region will support the emergence of leaders who will lead the country with integrity, competence, compassion and the fear of God.
“We have paid a high price in conflicts around religion in the North, and we do not need to do more. Our insecurity and collapsing economy do not discriminate between Christians and Muslims.
“We cannot seek solutions from them as Muslims or Christians. I have to state here that we are witnessing some of the crudest and most unproductive campaigns to create divisions between Hausa and Fulani people, and to create distance between Christians and Muslims in the North.
“We warn that these contemptible attempts will fail because they find no support in history going back centuries, or in the recent past.
“While we differ in faith and ethnicity, history, geography and our experiences in living as Nigerians have created roots and bonds that cannot be destroyed by desperate political gambits.
“We will be more critical than all others over who wins our support. We bear scars from governance by one we substantially voted into power twice.
“Northern votes will make a major impact in the 2023 elections as well, but they will be cast by people who are now wiser and more discerning.
“No candidate should therefore take our support for granted, and we state again, that we will vote entirely for the candidate that convinces us that he understands our problems, and will seek solutions to them with commitment, courage, and conviction.
“I want to use this opportunity to state that Northern Elders Forum has no candidate in this election as we speak. We plan to engage all willing candidates to discuss their plans and ideas and we have our yardstick for assessing candidates,” he said.
In his remarks, the NEF spokesman, Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed, said Nigeria needs new and committed leaders in 2023.