The spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed has revealed the group has identified presidential candidates they will not recommend for the people of the North to support ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
He said they will not support a candidate who will emerge on the basis of ethnicity or religion.
He made this revelation during an interview on Arise TV.
“We have identified people that we will not support. We don’t want a candidate that will emerge on the basis of religion or ethnicity or a combination of both.
Religion and ethnicity will increasingly be more decisive as we move on in determining support and that is a very dangerous thing. That’s one of the things we are saying don’t play that, don’t bring it to the North. If you believe you have to play religious or ethnic card, don’t bring it to the North.”
When asked if he thinks the NEF speaks authoritatively for the North?
He said, “we do. We certainly don’t speak against the North. I think it will be foolish to say every Northerner agrees with us but we have enough moral weight and credibility. We’ve stood for the last ten years in defence of the Northern interest and Nigeria’s interest and we believe that some of the interest we are raising now, may be we are a little bit ahead of time and we are saying to all Nigerians not just Northerners, we are saying be careful. Of all the elections we’ve seen since 2019, the one election that may be conducted on the basis of ethnicity and faith, not on the basis of competence, not on the basis of other considerations is this one (2023 elections).”
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