The convener of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi has said Northern votes will make an impact on who becomes the next president in 2023.
This was even as he said the North is now wiser and knows who it will vote for if the time comes.
Speaking at a book launch in Kaduna on Thursday, Ango noted that the North will be more critical about who to support, saying, “We will be more critical than all others over who wins our support. We bear scars from governance by one we substantially voted into power twice.
To this end, he stated “The North will participate in all political and electoral activities as equals and with respect to other Nigerians who respect us. The North want leaders who will lead with integrity, competence, compassion and the fear of God.”
“We will not support a candidate that fails to convince that he will radically improve the quality of governance and the integrity of leaders.
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“Secondly, Northerners will not be intimidated into making choices that do not improve the chances of real changes in their current circumstances.
According to him,” We have paid a high price in conflicts around religion in the North, and we do not need to do more. Our insecurity and collapsing economy do not discriminate between Christians and Muslims.”
“We cannot seek solutions from them as Muslims or Christians. I have to state here that we are witnessing some of the crudest and most unproductive campaigns to create divisions between Hausa and Fulani people, and create distances between Christians and Muslims in the North.”
He insisted that these attempts will fail because they find no support in history.
“We warn that these contemptible attempts will fail because they find no support in history going back centuries, or in the recent past. While we differ in faith and ethnicity, history, geography and our experiences in living as Nigerians have created roots and bonds that cannot be destroyed by desperate political gambits”.
The convener of NEF remarked further “we will be more critical than all others over who wins our support. We bear scars from governance by one we substantially voted into power twice.
“Northern votes will make a major impact in the 2023 elections as well, but they will be cast by people who are now wiser and more discerning,” he said.