Ango Abdullahi, convener of the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), has that the North would only support the presidential candidate that would lead the country with integrity, competence, compassion and the fear of God in the 2023 general election after.
Abdullahi, former Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Prof. spoke at a book launch in Kaduna on Thursday.
He noted that the region would not support any candidate like the one that had disappointed the entire country and indeed, the region twice.
Abdullahi also warned that the North would not be intimidated to make a choice of candidate that won’t effect “real change” in the present day Nigeria in 2023.
He added that northern votes would make an impact on the 2023 general election, noting that current campaign through religion and ethnicity to divide the region would fail.
The former Vice-Chancellor said, “the North will participate in all political and electoral activities as equals, and with respect to other Nigerians who respect us. The North wants 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. Secondly, northerners will not be intimidated into making choices that do not improve the chances of real changes in their current circumstances.
“We will participate in all political and electoral activities as equals, and concerning other Nigerians who respect us. In the North, we consider attempts to create divisions and conflicts around religion as hostile acts.
“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.
“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, and geography, our experiences in living as Nigerians have created roots and bonds that cannot be destroyed by desperate political gambits.
“Thirdly, we will be more critical than all others over who wins our support. We bore 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.”