The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has said that the Southern Governors’ Forum cannot threaten the north over who becomes Nigeria’s next president in 2023.
The group said that the president of Nigeria in 2023 could be a southerner but not with threats. According to NEF, the governors of the South should persuade their northern colleagues in their various parties to come up with a consensus candidate from the South but not with threats.
Southern governors had at a recent meeting in Enugu State insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023 must come from the South.
But the spokesman for the NEF, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, while speaking on the 2023 presidency on Arise TV, admonished Nigerians to see beyond religious and ethnic sentiments during the 2023 general elections.
He said the southern governors did not present their demand on 2023 properly in their last meeting.
Baba-Ahmed 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.”