Some elders from Nigeria’s northern region met on Saturday to pick a consensus presidential candidate for the 2019 general election.
President Muhammadu Buhari is from the region and may likely re-contest in 2019. But the northern elders, coming under the aegis of the Northern Elders and Stakeholders, said the incumbent president though from the north was helped to get to power by other interests.
The meeting, themed “Northern Elders and Stakeholders Conversation”, was convened to check such imposition and present a pan-northern candidate. The elders said such imposition had led to a leadership failure, killings and ethno-religious divisions associated with nepotism.
The meeting was convened by a former national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed; former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu and Senator Paul Zannan.
The convener, Mohammed said, “This will reduce acrimony and conflict and conversely create trust among the northern political elite and facilitate the attainment of the set goals—cultural and political unity of the north.
“It is our unity in the north that can facilitate and give legitimacy to our alliance with the south to provide the required leadership to move this country forward.
“From what is apparent in the political arena today, it is clear that the major political operators have agreed that in the forthcoming 2019 election, it is the turn of the north to produce the president.
“Therefore, there is a need to partner with brothers and sisters from other regions to ensure that, this time around, the leadership that shall emerge is one that can unite and develop our country with equity, justice and peace for all; this is the main objective of this meeting.”
A former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Ango Abdullahi; former governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa; Alhaji Bala Mohammed and prominent lawyer, Prof. Awwal Yadudu, former governor of Bauchi State and former PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, Senator Bala Mande and Senator Solomon Ewuga.were also in attendance.
The chairman of the occasion was elder statesman and chieftain of Arewa Consultative Forum, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai