The 2023 general election will obviously continue to generate debate from different angles until it is concluded. As expected, the presidential seat is the center of attraction, with different groups coming up with their preferred candidate and giving reasons why they should be supported. Among the list of possible candidates are Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Yemi Osinbajo, Yahaya Bello and Atiku Abubakar.
The fact that President Muhammadu Buhari is a northerner, there is a call for a southern President, meaning a northern candidate shouldn’ t be supported for whatever reason. While some buy into the idea of rotating power, some others are interested in focusing on the candidate and not the region he comes from.
The Northern Elders Forum Disagrees With Presidency Rotation
As a result of the words circulating, asking that the presidency be shifted to the southern part of the country come 2023, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has voiced their disagreement with the suggestion. Stating that the North cannot be sidelined in 2023, they have the right to contest. The group explained that there is nothing wrong with having another northern president, and so, no one should tell the north to step aside.
According to SAHARA REPORTERS, the Northern Elders’ Forum said the heavens will not fall if a northerner succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
During the inaugural edition of the Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture Series held over the weekend, Hakeem Baba- Ahmed said, ” We will surprise them in 2023 because we will vote for who we want, including the northerners, and nothing will happen. If we choose to vote for a northerner, the heavens will not fall. We will choose who we want in this country. ”
According to NEF, the Northerners would rather live in poverty than endure being disrespected by Southerners, which, according to NEF, is what they are doing by saying the North shouldn’ t produce the next President. In his words, he said, ” A northerner is a respectable Nigerian. We can live with our poverty, but we can not live with a sense of disrespect and anybody who toys with our respect. We will fight them to the end. ”
Northerners’ Inherited Leadership— NEF
While Hakeem Baba- Ahmed was delivering a keynote address at the lecture series organised by the students’ wing of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, he said Northern Nigeria inherited leadership, insinuating that the British colonial administrators handed over the leadership of the country to the North in 1960. And for this reason, the north will not succumb to intimidation.
Sahara Reporters reported that Baba- Ahmed charged the students to be proud of who they are, saying they are not second- class citizens and should not accept being treated as such in their own country.
An excerpt of his address read, ” We will lead Nigeria the way we have led Nigeria before, whether we are President or Vice President, we will lead Nigeria. We have the majority of the votes, and democracy says, ” Vote for whom you want. ”
Northerners Vow To Rebuild The North In 2023
While speaking on plans by some politicians to bribe northerners in 2023, Baba- Ahmed said, ” Why should we accept second class position when we know we can buy form and contest for first class and we will win? Why does anybody need to threaten us and intimidate us? We will get that power, but be humble because power comes from God. We inherited leadership. Being honest is not being stupid.
” There are Nigerians who believe that because the economy of the North is crumbling, we are running away from insecurity, we are politically vulnerable, they think they can buy us for 2023, but they are making a mistake. ”
He also said, ” We are ready for this; we will consider every economic adversity, challenge, we will fix the Northern economy and we are the only one who can fix this Northern economy. For that reason, we are not for sale. We are in the process of rebuilding the North and we will rebuild the North from 2023. ”
With this stand by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), there are indications that the 2023 election will be more of a power tussle, seeing that the north is not ready to let go of power, which they claim belongs to them. Neither is the south willing to give space for another nothern leader, since the current President is a northerner who is currently spending his second tenure as the President.
What do you think about this? Is the North truly meant to be in charge of power? Should the presidency be rotated or given to whoever surfaces? Your views and thoughts will be appreciated.