The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) believes that Northern voters would be more circumspect while casting their ballots in the upcoming election.
The chairman of the NEF, Ango Abdullahi, promised that the region’s fault line would not be exacerbated by any candidate whose actions or inactions would be detrimental to it.
At a book launch on Thursday in Kaduna, Abdullahi made this statement.
Abdullahi asserts that the region will back leaders who rule with moral integrity, skill, compassion, and awe of God rather than those who seek to gain from policies that exploit the region’s ethnic and religious diversity.
“We will not support a candidate that does not demonstrate that he will significantly enhance the standard of governance and the integrity of leaders,” he declared.
“Second, northerners won’t be coerced into making decisions that lessen the likelihood that their current conditions will actually change.
“We would participate in all electoral and political processes on an equal basis with other Nigerians who appreciate us.
Conflicts over religion and attempts to promote divisiveness are seen as hostile actions in the north. Religious conflicts in the north have cost us dearly; additional step is not required.
“We are still hurting from the two times we voted for this candidate in record numbers.
As equals and in regard to other Nigerians who respect us, we shall take part in all political and electoral events.
In the north, we consider attempts to promote strife and disagreements over religion to be hostile actions. Religious conflicts have cost us much in the north; further action is not required.
“The two elections in which we massively backed this candidate for office left scars on us.
Northern votes will still have a big impact on the 2023 elections, even if they will be cast by people who are now more discerning and wise.
“Neither as Muslims nor Christians, we can turn to them for guidance. Some of the most obscene and ineffective initiatives to polarize Christians and Muslims, as well as the Hausa and Fulani people, are taking place in the north.
Because there is no precedent for these heinous attempts in recent or ancient history, we issue a warning that they won’t be successful.
Despite our differences in faith and ethnicity, the history, geography, and shared experiences of living in Nigeria have given us roots and links that cannot be severed by frenetic political gambits.