Citing lack of ability to find a solution to the rampant killings and other challenges confronting their part of the country, leaders, and stakeholders from the northern part of the country rose from a meeting at the weekend, declaring that none of the politicians currently in power is deserving of their support in the 2019 general election.
Different stakeholders at the meeting, including representatives of Northern Elders’ Forum, Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Borno Elders Forum, Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria, and other key northern groups concluded at the meeting that their political representatives have not shown leadership skills in defending the region and addressing major problems existing in the region including terrorism and insurgency.
Reading the communique issued by the forum, a former permanent secretary Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, who is now the Chief of Staff to Senate President, Bukola Saraki, noted that northerners who emerged winners in the 2015 elections have betrayed the people with their display of incompetence and gross insensitivity.
He said, “Since 2015, Northerners have occupied positions with the potential to make decisive differences in the economy, security or political fortunes of the region. The hopes that leaders who have exercised power since 2015 will reverse the abuse and neglect of the region in the previous decade have been betrayed. Weak governance, gross insensitivity and unacceptable levels of incompetence have been compounded by battles of attrition in which northerners have sapped each other’s’ strength.”
Baba-Ahmed lamented that the North has been ravaged by killings and attacks from terrorists while armed bandits terrorize rural communities at will as kidnappings and abductions have assumed alarming notoriety as crimes without a check from the Armed Forces of the country.
He, therefore, declared that northerners occupying political offices have been issued quit notice and should not expect to be voted for in the coming 2019 general elections.
“The summit warns that no Northern politician should expect to be voted for in the next general election unless they demonstrate a willingness to champion a massive assault on poverty and underdevelopment in the North. In this regard, most political office holders from the North are hereby served notice that they have failed the test to lead the region towards economic recovery and growth.”
Baba-Ahmed, speaking further insisted that leadership selection process would be critically interrogated, adding that northerners would resist any form of blood shedding for any candidate.
He also maintained politicians who have betrayed the hopes and mandates of northern people should be prepared to suffer rejection.
The stakeholders demanded that there should be an improvement in the state of security of lives and economic assets in the North by the federal and state governments.
They also requested that all persons who are involved in killings and crimes against communities be brought to book.