Votes from North will make major impact in 2023 – NEF

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THE Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has declared that the region would be wiser and more discerning with its votes in the 2023 general elections.

The Convener of the NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, who stated this at a book launch in Kaduna, yesterday, said votes from the North would make a major impact in next year’s elections.

He also took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari when he said Northerners still bear scars from someone they massively voted for twice (2015 and 2019).

The former vice-chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) stressed that Northerners are now wiser, and would make the best decision on the candidate to vote for in 2023.

He said the people of the North would not vote for a candidate who cannot help them out of their current challenges.

The NEF has been very critical of the Buhari administration.

The group had a few weeks ago demanded the president’s resignation over his inability to tackle the insecurity in the North.

Abdullahi said: “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.

“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 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, geography and our experiences in living as Nigerians have created roots and bonds that cannot be destroyed by desperate political gambits.

“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.”

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