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‘We’ll reject presidential candidates who refuse to speak against killing of northerners in S’East’ – NEF

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Buhari complacent over Ganduje, Sanusi feud —NEF

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) says the North will reject any presidential candidate who refuses to speak out against the killing and arrest of Northerners in the South-East in the 2023 general elections.

The position of the apex Northern group was made known in a statement on Saturday by its Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the forum, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, who called on politicians to speak out in condemnation of the killing of eight Hausa traders in Imo State by gunmen suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Baba-Ahmed who described the killings as one incident among many recent incidents that involves harassment, illegal arrests, attacks, and killings of Northerners, said it was unacceptable and intolerable.

“We are deeply concerned over rising cases of profiling, targeting, and killings of Northerners in many parts of the South. The recent murder of Nigerians in Imo State apparently on suspicion that they were northerners, is one incident among many recent ones that involve harassment, illegal arrests, attacks, and killings of Nigerians from the North.

Read also:Northern Elders Forum denies endorsing Saraki, Mohammed as PDP consensus candidates

“It is lamentable that those who enjoy these killings draw inspiration from the silence of leaders as well as security agencies.

“The impression that Northerners are fair game for groups and organizations in the South is forcing northerners to exercise their rights to travel and live peacefully in any part of Nigeria only under great danger and fear. This is intolerable and unacceptable.

“The Forum demands that governments, communities and law enforcement agencies protect northerners living in the South.

“It demands clear and emphatic condemnation from leaders, elders and communities who understand that the welfare and security of all citizens are vulnerable to the degree that other citizens are unsafe in certain parts of the country.

“To this end, we serve notice that the North will use the degree to which contestants for political office speak in clear terms in condemnation of these attacks on northerners as a yardstick for our support of candidates and parties.

“We will reject any 2023 presidential candidate who refuses to speak on the barbaric killing of Northerners in the South-East.

“While we appeal to all communities to live in peace with each other, we also demand that killers who target Northerners are found and punished,” the statement said.

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