The Convener of the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Prof. Ango Abdullahi, said on Sunday the region would support candidates with genuine commitment to deal with its problems and the political will to meet its aspirations in the 2023 general election.
Abdullahi, who disclosed this in a statement issued in Zaria, Kaduna State, said people of the North would be very careful in committing to persons seeking their votes in three years time.
He said: “The forum has observed that political maneuvers around the 2023 elections are targeting the North as a region available for exploitation.
“We want to make it clear that people of the North will be very careful in committing to persons seeking their support on the basis of their region or wealth.
“The North knows its interest and will stand together to elect only persons who meet the standards and interests of the people of the North.
“No politicians should assume they are entitled to our support unless they show a clear understanding and a commitment to deal with our problems and meet our aspirations.”
On national security, Abdullahi called for the injection of higher level of competence, integrity and accountability in the manner Nigerian security agencies deal with security challenges.
“We appeal to our religious leaders and fellow citizens not to fall into the trap of insurgents to set us up against each other.
“We condemn the tactic of targeting Christians and publicising their executions by an insurgency seeking to exploit our different faiths.
“We also condemn the murder of thousands of Muslims and Christians in communities which the insurgency has made permanent target in the last decade.
“These are times when we must unite and resist a common enemy as well as demand that our leaders protect us all as Nigerians,” Abdullahi added.
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