Northern leaders clarify stand on consensus presidential candidate for 2019
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Northern leaders clarify stand on consensus presidential candidate for 2019



Northern leaders clarify stand on consensus presidential candidate for 2019

Northern Leaders and Stakeholders Assembly (NLSA) Steering Committee chairman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has denied reports that its mandates is to find a consensus presidential candidate from the North for the coming 2019 presidential election.

The NLSA Steering Committee chairman stated this when he inaugurated five standing sub-committees on Security, Political, Northern unity, Elections and Restructuring on Wednesday in Abuja with the mandates to strategise on a peaceful conduct of the 2019 elections, restructuring and security in the North.

Following a recent meeting of leaders of the northern Nigeria co-convened by Dr Bello Mohammed, former Minister of Defence; Senator Ibrahim Mantu, former Deputy Senate President; and Senator Paul Wampana, on February 10, the leaders had set up five committees.

The meeting which discussed prevailing challenges in the North was then convened under the name, ‘Northern Elders and Stakeholders’ Conversation’, but later decided to choose NLSA as its name.

The NLSA had at that meeting appointed Yakasai as chairman of its Steering Committee to help ensure that the five sub-committees deliver on the job assigned to them.

Speaking during the inauguration of the sub-committees, Yakasai who denied that the essence of the association was not to find a consensus presidential candidate from the North, listed duties of the different committees to include, identifying the primordial causes and factors that fuel conflict in Northern Nigeria and to proffer solutions to the herder-farmer and Boko Haram problems in Nigeria.

Other terms according him are to advise on how the region can build a strong political force; chart a united direction for the North toward the 2019 election and identify possible alliance blocks in the Southern part of the country for 2019 election, as well as to take a Northern position on the question of restructuring and articulate modalities for the implementation of the suggested solution to the issue of restructuring.

“The objective of this assembly is to principally focus on a strategy towards evolving a brighter future, economically viable, politically stable and united Northern Nigeria.

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“The challenges of Boko Haram, ethno-religious, communal crises and herders-farmers conflicts in the North as well as kidnapping and armed robberies all over the North pose a serious challenge to our nation.

`I am, however, glad that one of the sub-committees inaugurated will be addressing these security challenges. I believe that in addition to other areas of focus, the relevant committees will give insightful recommendations and assessment of the present day political reality of our country.

“Such recommendations will catalyse our dialogue on how we proceed towards achieving efficient and rancour free electioneering activities in the coming 2019 presidential and other elections for the sake of peace and tranquility,” Yakasai said.

According to Mantu, who is a member of the Steering Committee, it has become necessary for northerners to forge a united front despite their religious and cultural differences.

The chairmen of the sub-committees are Senator Joseph Akaagerger, Security; Boni Haruna, Political; Senator Jeremiah Useni, Northern Unity; Ghali Umar Na’abba, Election; Professor Auwalu Yadudu, Restructuring.

The committees were asked to submit their reports by March 31.

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