The Northern Elders Forum has again dismissed the call by the Southern Governors’ Forum that the next Nigerian president must come from the south.
Its spokesman, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, said at the weekend in Kaduna that the north was not for sale, no matter the pressure or antics from the southern governors to zone the presidency to the south.
Describing the north as proud, he urged youths in the region to be active in politics and not to accept second-class status.
According to him, irrespective of the south, the north would retain the presidency (in 2023) if the region’s numerical strength is factored.
But in a swift riposte on Monday, the Southern and Middle Belt Alliance, SaMBA, rejected Baba-Ahmed’s claim, saying it was reckless and careless.
SaMBA, in a statement by its spokesman, Rwan Pam Jnr, reminded the NEF that without the Middle Belt, the north would not be able to boast of its numerical strength.
Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed explains why the NEF still believes that the core north alone can produce the next Nigerian president. This is despite the fact that the massive votes garnered by retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari from the region in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections were insufficient to make him president.
Baba-Ahmed is a retired permanent secretary and Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Northern Elders’ Forum.