Northern elders to Akeredolu: Threats won’t give you presidency | Dailytrust

Northern elders to Akeredolu: Threats won’t give you presidency

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), yesterday, knocked the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, for saying any political party that fielded its presidential candidate from the North would lose the election.

The group stressed that every northerner has the right to compete and contest for the presidential seat in 2023, adding that the North could equally take a similar position by canvassing support for a northern candidate against the South.

Speaking with Daily Trust, the NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, however, stressed that such utterances will only make the country suffer because Nigerians will end up selecting leaders, not on the basis of their qualities but threats and intimidation.

“Some sections of this country think that intimidating and threatening the North is what will yield the presidency to them and they are wrong, it will not,” he stressed.

The NEF spokesman said rhetorics and demands made by the governor of Ondo State and other leaders from the South were not only unhelpful and raised the temperature of the country but also do not help any southern politician who is good enough to actually canvas the support of the North.

“All these threats, ultimatums and demands that are coming from politicians from the South, that only a southerner will become the president of the country, circumscribe the rights of citizens who are not from the southern part of the country.

“They don’t help southern politicians who are good enough to actually say to the North; we are good enough for your votes, trust in us,” he said.

When asked if such matters are discussed privately between southern and northern leaders, Baba-Ahmed answered in the affirmative but said, “there are multiplicities of influences. There are politicians who believe the only way they can secure some leverage is by speaking in these terms; intimidating, threatening and giving ultimatum.

“Those politicians don’t have linkages with the real politicians who are looking for power through negotiations, through convincing people and doing the hard work of politicking.

“Then there are those who really don’t care; an agenda has been set for them and they are not interested in the merit of their arguments.”

The said what is missing in Nigeria at the moment is an elite consensus of what it takes to get the country to survive between now and 2023 elections as well as making sure that the country transits to the elections with the most minimal of crisis, and what to do with the country or how the country can be re-engineered and rebuilt beyond 2023.

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