Prof. Ango Abdullahi, convener of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), says the North is entitled to another four years in power, warning that any attempt to subvert the conduct of a free, fair, and credible election will be countered.
Abdullahi spoke at the ongoing General Assembly and 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Northern Elders Forum, held at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to him, the North had given its support and had “rubbed more backs” of leaders from other regions of the country without sentiments.
Abdullahi maintained that those warning the North against their aspirations to the Presidency had no right to do so, as it was also their right to contest the office, as many times as they wished to.
He also called for the acceptance of the presidency of whoever emerged at the end of the conduct of the election without sentiments, stating that elections should only be won based only on thumbprints.
“The constitution is very clear that I can stand the election twenty times, and I can lose twenty times. But nothing should stop me from contesting elections if I want,” he said.
“Then when you look at it in terms of well, ‘do me I do you’, rub my back and I rub yours, the North has rubbed more backs than its back has been rubbed. Even if you are talking about the years in power from 1999 till date, Obasanjo did eight years; Jonathan six, that is 14; Umaru two, and now Buhari eight years. So, I am being owed even in the number of years, four years.
“The issue should not have been we are not qualified to contest, we have no right to contest. Certainly, this is the reason we are saying now that the issue in the Nigerian political environment, must be based on democratic tenets only. There should be no issue of reserving anything for anybody. If you win an election, you win on the basis of this thumbprint. If you win, we will accept.
“But for us to begin to see threats that if this happens, and we do not like it, we’ll do something negative, we are warning that the election will be contested hopefully free and fair, and credible. And anybody who wins the election must be accepted as the winner of the election, without sentiments. And if there is any attempt to subvert it, then we’ll be ready to also counter,” he said.