The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has said Nigeria needs a President who will act in the “opposite direction” to the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari come 2023.
NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, disclosed this on Tuesday when he featured on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ breakfast programme.
Baba-Ahmed lamented that no Nigerian is happy with Buhari, even those within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to him, Nigeria needs a President who realises the need to rebuild the country, secure Nigerians, and boost the economy.
“The nation needs a leader that would do the things that President (Muhammadu) Buhari hasn’t done, create inclusiveness, address resentment and frustration in other parts of the country and in the north and speak and act for everybody,” he said.
Baba-Ahmed added that the 17 Southern Governors should stop threatening the North that their region must present the country’s President in the 2023.
He boasted that the North has the kind of population that puts the region in a position of strength.
He, however, noted that both the North and the South still needs each other as neither region can produce the President without the support of the other.
He described the position of Southern Governors that the South must produce the President in 2023 as a threat and intimidation.
Baba-Ahmed has been criticised since on Saturday when he said at an event in Zaria, Kaduna State, that the North does not need to accept the demand of southerners that the South must produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023.
He said, “Nobody needs to be a second-class citizen, certainly not the northerners. This country is not built to have second-class or first-class citizens, that is the beauty of democracy.
“What we said is that you cannot compel the North to yield to the southern part of the country, a right that has been given by the constitution, our right to choose and elect people that we want. If you compel us to do that, that makes us second-class citizens. Allow the democratic process to decide who becomes the president.
“We understand people who are desperate, the kind of people who say if you want justice, if you want equity, you must bring the southern presidency down but we say that is not the way to ask for southern presidency, you cannot threaten us (with) violence and intimidation.”
Baba-Ahmed said the North had lived under Southern Presidents — Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan — since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999, and had no problems with it.
He, therefore, urged politicians in the South not to make the controversy over who succeeds Buhari to divide the country.