BY NDAHI MARAMA Maiduguri
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) yesterday insisted that presidency should be shifted to the region comes 2015 general elections, as a mark of equity and justice.
Secretary of the NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi made this remarks, when he led other members of the forum, on a courtesy visit to Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima at the Government House in Maiduguri.
Prof. Abdullahi, a one time Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, (ABU), insisted that if next elections comes, north will no longer misuse its right of producing the presidency as did in 2011, blaming such failure on the connivance of some state governors of the region.
He noted that north will never again compromise what rightly belongs to them, saying however that the forum has already already put all hands on deck to see to the successful return of power to the region.
“I was one of the founding members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who outlined the zoning formular of presidency between north and south but unfortunately following the demise of former president late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the formula was immediately put aside to achieve unjustifiable course”, he declared.
The NEF scribe said north has the population, resources and all it takes to make them produce the next president, noting that the forum will liaise with relevant stakeholders of the region to ensure that what is rightly taken away from them is return to them.
“Presently we don’t have a particular political party or presidential candidate, rather north is our party and candidate. We will join forces with anyone willing to see the restoration of power to the region”, he added.
He noted that the north must rediscover itself to fight through its present predicaments, saying “if the future of the younger generation of the northern people is to be as promising as it was hope to be”
“Our fathers had used the resources of the north to make this country what it is today, and those who do not know the history of this country are now thinking that they can over run us politically. Our hands must on deck and we must prove to them that we would rise again to glory, because the problem of the north is the north and we must ensure we resolve our differences for the betterment of our children,” Abdullahi said.
The scribe also condemned the security challenges confronting the region and the way security forces are handling the issue.
He specifically faulted the Baga killings, describing the acts as barbaric, saying the forum is presently collating information and facts for onward taking the case to International Criminal Court.
He also commiserated with the government and people the state over the lose of lives and properties occasioned by the insurgency.
In his remarks, Governor Shettima threw his weight behind the northern presidency, saying the region has all requirements to produce next president.
Governor Shettima argued that even if the region is curved out of the country, it will be the most populous area in the entire Africa region.