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2023: Nigeria Will Have 2 Presidents If North Insists On Retaining Power —Group |The Republican News


South does not need the consent of the north to be president of Nigeria — Gani Adams, Chief Ayo Adebanjo

Elder-statesman and frontline Yoruba leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and the Aare Onakankanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, have tackled the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) on its plot to retain power beyond 2023.

Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the group, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, had insisted that North has the votes and would not play second fiddle to any other part of Nigeria.

The Arewa group said it had no apologies for rejecting the demands of the Southern Governors Forum that the 2023 presidency be zoned to the South.

Speaking on Arise TV Morning Show, Ahmed, who was responding to the backlash by prominent southerners and groups said no one has the constitutional right to compel any part of the country on how to vote and that if northerners chose to elect a northern president in a free and fair election, people should have to live with it.

“The approach of the southern governors and some organised groups in the south in speaking from both sides of the mouth is wrong. Even as we speak, certain southern governors who are saying we must do this or that are secretly negotiating and jostling for positions for themselves for 2023. They know all the options that are available and are actively involved in this. They know the politicians from the northern part of the country including their colleagues but they come out and create a bipartisan fallacy and start making demands that they know are inconsistent with the democratic process. This should stop because it is not helping. What we are saying is to allow a democratic process to determine who will become our president and we should ensure that we pick someone better than President Buhari,” he said.

Reacting to Chief Edwin Clark who faulted the claim that the population of the north is an advantage, Hakeem said: “For people like Chief Adebanjo and sometimes, Chief Clark to say things like, ‘if you don’t do this, there would be no elections in 2023’, (they) have no control over what happens in 2023. These kind of statements are what cause tension in the country.

“With due respect, there are many elderly people like Chief Clark and Chief Adebanjo who speak in a language which elders should not be speaking. They have no business leading groups. These are people who create more problems for politicians and politicians become hostages of rhetorics that people have.”

However, Adebanjo, in his reaction said: “I agree with him that we are not patriots because we don’t agree to the subjugation of the South to the Fulani in the North. If that is why we are not patriots, we agree. On the issue of power shift, what he said about retaining power in the North is part of the arrogance of their leaders, who want Nigeria to remain one, but on the condition that they have the rulers. It will not work. We had discussed that with his forefathers; so, we are not going to argue that with him again. If that is why we are not patriots, we are not going to agree on that. We knew we wouldn’t need their agreement before we said that we are not going to have presidency in the North in 2023. That is why we are insisting on changing of the constitution, which they gave to us through the military in 1966. And until that one is done, there can be no peace in this country. We are not going to stay in Nigeria where they will be the rider and we will be the horse. I don’t want to go into any argument with him. When did he come into existence? We’ve had these arguments with his forefathers. We don’t need to argue that again.”

In his reaction, Adams said other regions of the country were fully aware of the antic of the North to continue to dominate them and were ready to turn the table around.

The Yoruba generalissimo who spoke at Ibeju, Lagos during the maiden edition of Egbe Festival organized by the Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF), lambasted said NEF’s statement only exposed the domineering agenda of the north and was capable of setting the nation on fire.

He held that Nigeria was not property of any region and any attempt by the North to force its domineering agenda on others would be resisted.

This is Igbo youths under the aegis of the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, (COSEYL) warned that the South East would produce its own president if that happens.

Ahmed, while speaking at the maiden Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture Series organized by the students wing of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, said anyone who did not want a northerner as president in 2023 can leave the country.

However, in a statement by it president general, Goodluck Ibem, the group described the utterance by the northern statesman as unfortunate and disapointing.

“It was the support of the south that made President Buhari to win his elections in 2015 and 2019. We are very surprised that Hakeem has suddenly forgotten so soon how President Buhari emerged as president. History doesn’t lie, he should go back to history to refresh his memory. We, as the youth leaders of South East geopolitical zone, stand by the decision of the southern governors that the office of the Nigerian president be zoned to the South for equity and justice. Enough said,” Ibem stated.

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By 2023 APC Would Have Completely Wrecked Nigeria —Northern Elders |The Republican News

Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

By Chukwuemeka Chimerue

■Says ruling and opposition parties are same

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has expressed concerns over the state of the country and concluded that by the next general election in 2023, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would have completely wrecked Nigeria.

The group, which challenged governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to show evidence that the APC was using extra legal means to poach its members, however, dismissed both the ruling and opposition parties as one and the same.

Spokesman of NEF, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, who maintained that both the APC and the PDP had been destroying Nigeria since 1999, when she returned to civil rule, spoke Monday night during a programme on Channels Television.

His words: “What are they going to do with 2023, because between now and 2023, in one and a half years, APC would have completely wrecked this country. You are going to take over a country that is effectively destroyed by a party that has been substantially produced by PDP?”

Baba-Ahmed, who was reacting to the comments by PDP governors that the Presidential Villa had become APC headquarters for coercing their members to join the ruling party, noted that while the APC would have completely wrecked the country by 2023, the PDP has not shown the blueprint for resolving the challenges bedeviling the country.

He, therefore, maintained that the concern of the PDP and the APC was the 2023 presidential election, and not about developing the country.

“There have been defections from both sides. Like I said earlier on, we are dealing with one and the same thing. We have governors from the other party, who just change dress and come back to sit and say I’m PDP. The next day, a governor will also defect and say I’m APC. These are the same people.

“In the last 16 years, since 1999, it is these two parties that have destroyed this country and they are playing the same game, all over again.

“What did the PDP say it is going to do about bringing these different parts of the country together? Where is the economic blueprint to do with unemployment; to do with the building of the Nigerian economy? All they are interested in is 2023,” he added.

On the allegation that their members were being coerced into the APC, Baba-Ahmed asked the PDP to present evidence to Nigerians that the State House was using “extra-legal and political muscle to peer away its governors to the APC.

“If governors have evidence that the State House, the Villa, is using extra-legal and political muscle to peer away governors from their parties, I wish they will share some of this information with us,” he said.

The PDP governors forum had repeatedly accused the presidency and the APC of intimidating its governors.

In their communique after a meeting in Bauchi, Bauchi State, they said, “The meeting condemned, once again, the use of underhand tactics to arm twist some PDP Governors and other stakeholders to join the APC, a political party that has wrecked Nigeria’s economy, turned Nigeria into a killing field and has nothing to offer Nigerians but misery and bad governance.

“The Governors condemned Mr. President and APC for turning the Presidential Villa, that belongs to all Nigerians, into the new APC headquarters, where coerced PDP members are being paraded at intervals”.(THISDAY)

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Insecurity: Buhari Should Be Impeached Now, He Has No Ability To Solve The Problems —Northern Elders |The Republican News


The Northern Elders Forum has joined Nigerians in the call for President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeachment following his inability to solve Nigeria’s insecurity challenges.

Speaking during an interview on AIT on Monday morning, the NEF spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said the nation could not wait two more years for Buhari to address the issues of insecurity.

He noted that those who had the constitutional responsibility to protect Nigeria must realise that the country was in a dire state and do something other than making promises.

He said the second option is for citizens to get together and decide to do something.

“The third option is that those leaders who are failing will recognise the fact that they are the problem and resign because they clearly have nothing to offer in terms of leadership.

“As our democratic system provides, those with the responsibility to get them off should impeach those who are failing. If the president can’t deliver, he should be impeached.

“We don’t have a National Assembly that appears to have the level of patriotism and concern beyond partisan politics to realise that when this roof falls, it also falls on their heads.

“Partisanship is so pronounced that the people we elected and sent to Abuja think they serve the President rather than the Nigerian people,” he said.

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North Ready To Discuss All Elements Of Our Co-existence But Will Not Be Stampede —Northern Elders

Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

by Kazeem Tunde

Northern Elders Forum, NEF, have said they were aware of alleged attempts by some politicians interested in contesting the 2023 presidential election to weaken the North on many fronts in the aftermath of #EndSARS protest.

The Forum also said it had credible information about an alleged plan to force restructuring on the North under the guise of ending the agitation against bad governance in the country.

NEF’s Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in a statement on Wednesday night, said that the North was capable of identifying and protecting its own interests, and would neither be blackmailed nor intimidated into accepting restructuring as a means to higher standards of justice, better security, and progress for all Nigerians.

He said, “The Forum is aware of attempts to weaken the North by interests that believe that this is their only path to success in the 2023 elections.

“These interests should know that the North will neither be blackmailed nor intimidated, and we are quite capable of identifying and protecting our own interests.

“Some of these interests seek to exploit our plural nature and deepen what they see as divisions. They will fail, because northerners know that what unites us is a lot stronger than what divides us.

“Others create the impression that the North is opposed to the country being restructured along lines that will improve the quality of our union, ensure higher standards of justice, better security and progress for all Nigerians. These too will fail.

“The North is ready to discuss all elements of our co-existence, but will not be stampeded into submitting to other interests who feel uncomfortable with a strong and united North, or blackmailing us to adopt their versions of our future.”

NEF also said it was disappointed that last week’s meeting in Kaduna by Northern Governors, high-level federal government officials and traditional rulers barely made mention of the insecurity of communities within the region The elders said the focus of the meeting on the potential for abuse of social media platforms and the possibility of hoodlums hijacking the #EndSARS protest in many cities of the south was uncalled for.

Baba-Ahmed said, “That meeting missed a historic opportunity to acknowledge that northern communities are in dire need of improved security, and to give firm and specific assurances that our leaders care about northern lives and will take steps to protect us.

“We took particular note of the pivotal roles of governors and traditional rulers at that meeting, leaders who are thoroughly familiar with daily assaults by insurgents, bandits and kidnappers on northerners.

“These are leaders who should have understood the high hopes which northerners attached to a meeting of that nature in Kaduna, and they should understand that the impression left by that meeting and the frenzy of activities in parts of the south involving some northern leaders to show sympathy for damage from hoodlums leaves only one conclusion in the mind of northerners: northern lives do not matter.”

The Forum noted the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to improve engagements with northern leaders, and hoped that these will not be public relations stunts in place of real efforts aimed at improving the security of the region.

“The Forum advises the President and Governors to engage a broad spectrum of leaders, elders and the young in the North to contribute to an appreciation of the dangers which our communities live with on a daily basis, and enlist them as partners in the search for solutions,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Northern elders paid tribute to its Director-General, Dr Yima Sen, who died recently, describing his services to the Forum as invaluable.

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Northern Elders Forum Stands Against Breakup Of Nigeria, Say They Are The Root Of The Country |RN

The Northern Elders Forum has said that the North has never agitated for the breakup of the country, hence, it does not have any plan for it.

This is just as a member of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Hakeem Baba-Ahmed expressed disappointment in the leadership style of Northern peoples who hold various political offices in the country.

Making the assertion on Monday, a former presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) party Bashir Othman Tofa, during the inauguration of students’ wing of Northern Youth Groups, organised by Coalition of Northern Youth held at Bayero University, Kano.

According to him, “If you look at our population and what we have together is more than what anyone can hope for. So to try to destroy this is certainly a lose-lose situation. That is why we here in the North would never say we want to leave this country. “

His words “If you examine the situation, you would find out it is only in Northern Nigeria that there is no agitation for the breakup of this country”

He said that the unity of the country is sacrosanct, adding that the North has been playing the role of encouraging the unity of Nigeria “That is why we are the root of this country. If the root is uprooted, the tree will not be there.

He then added that so we like to be patient, we like to encourage Nigerians to love their country to be united and tolerate one another. So that we can build a kind of country we like to build.”

He then advised Northerners to exercise patience in building the unity of the country, as they are the root of Nigeria’s unity.

It is Northern Nigeria that doesn’t have any specific plan of its own, in case Nigeria is divided. This means we have absolute confidence that being together is the best thing for all of us.”

Our responsibility is to exercise patience to make sure we guide this country to the kind of unity and progress we need to develop into a better country and even become a nation-state,” Mr Tofa said.

A member of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Hakeem Baba-Ahmed expressed disappointment in the leadership style of Northern peoples who hold various political offices in the country.

His words Northerners who hold different political positions had failed to address the region’s problems in areas considered to be of paramount importance for the region.

“We are disappointed with our northern leaders at all levels. We will be putting pressure on them to correct their mistakes of tackling the problem of insecurity, poor quality of education and health, the problem of economy among others.”

Alhaji Baba-Ahmed then charged northern governors to provide shelter for cattle headers in the zone to stop them from wondering about anyhow.

However, on the occasion, three regional coordinators for Northwest, Northeast and Northcentral geopolitical zones were inaugurated during the event.

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