The Northern Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) has appealed to Nigerians to support northern candidacy for the 2023 presidency in view of ending myriad security challenges bedeviling the nation.
According to the group, it’s the only president from the north that has the needed courage to fight insecurity without stepping on toes.
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has vowed that the north will continue leading Nigeria, arguing that the region has the majority to produce a leader through the ballot.
The outbursts may not be unconnected to the recent clamour by leaders and politicians of southern extraction for a shift in power, arguing that the region must produce the nation’s next leader.
But NEF, in its most recent submission on the nation’s polity has pushed back arguing “We will lead Nigeria the way we have led Nigeria before. Whether we are president or vice president or whatever, we will lead Nigeria, NEF spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said on Sunday at a lecture in memory of the late Maitama Sule in Zaria Kaduna State.
And speaking on the state of the nation at a press conference in Yola, the president of the group, Elliot Afiyo, said the southern president may not have the political will and the need courage to fight Boko Haram, banditry and kidnapping without been opposed by the northern elites.
He believes that the south is blessed with people that can rule the nation but does not have needed desire to take power from the north in the 2023 general election.
He lamented that political elites frustrated President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts at ending Boko Haram insurgency in the north east.
According to Baba-Ahmed, NEF will not allow the 2023 presidency to be zoned to the southern part of the country, insisting that the position is a democratic office that will be determined by the majority.
The spokesman maintained that there is nothing wrong if the north produces the next president after Muhammadu Buhari, adding that this is possible not because the north is superior to others, but because the rules of politics avail the region a great opportunity.
He stressed that the north will never be cowed into submission, nor forced to give up in the quest to retain power in 2023 considering its huge human population that gives the region an advantage over others.
The NEF spokesman further reminded those calling for power rotation to bury such thoughts, saying Nigeria is running a democratic government, whereby decisions over where the next president comes from are basically decisions that will be made by voters who will elect the leaders of their choice.
While addressing those present, Baba-Ahmed said: “The vote says vote who you want. We have the majority of the votes. Why do we need to accept a second class position when we can fight and get a first class position. Why?
“Why does anyone need to threaten us and cajole us and intimidate us? If you don’t bring the presidency here, you will see, okay let’s see, we are waiting to see.
“But when we get the power, in the name of God be humble because power comes from God”.
“If they tell you the north must play second fiddle, say No! If the rule of the game says you should vote for the candidate of your choice, vote for the candidate of your choice.
“If they do not like the fact that it might be a northerner that will emerge as president, too bad. If we want to support a southerner, we will support a southerner because that will be in our own interest, rather than in somebody’s interest.
“And we can decide for ourselves, we do not need anybody to tell us what to do,” Baba-Ahmed added.