The Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), yesterday, restated the North’s insistence on retaining power in 2023, stressing that their Southern counterpart can only emerge for the nation’s top post so long as the ‘political and electoral process’ requirements are adhered to. Specifically, the northern elders maintained that it was unacceptable for the Southern governors to in-sist that the South must produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023. Speaking on Arise TV, NEF’s spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, urged Nigerians to see beyond religious and ethnic sentiments in the 2023 general elections.
He noted that given the requirements for a politician from the South to become the next president, Baba-Ahmed said the demands of the southern governors that their region must produce the next president were not well presented. He said: “You cannot threaten us with violence and intimidation. We can read the constitution; we know what it takes to be the president. You have to score at least 25 per cent in 24 states.
“There are no 24 states in the North, which means no northerner can become president, unless he gets support from the southern part of the country. “By the same token, no southerner can become president unless he gets support from the North. We understand this; we are not ignorant. We know there will be a time when someone from the South will become president.
“But it must be a president that will emerge through the political and electoral process. He must be a president that southerners and northerners both like and vote to make him or her president. “He must be a Nigerian president, not an ethnic president, not a regional president, not a religious president.”