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2023: North has always been the kingmaker, say Northern elders 

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Northern Elders under the auspices of ‘Northern Leaders of Thought’ have said the Northern region will still determine who rule the country in 2023.

The convener of the meeting held at Arewa House, on Saturday, Professor Ango Abdullahi disclosed this during his opening remarks at the occasion.

Apparently reacting to All Progressives Congress (APC) National leader’s declaration, Bola Tinubu said he has been a kingmaker and there’s nowhere it is stated in the world where a kingmaker cannot aspire to be king.

Ango said,  “I heard that somebody was saying he’s the kingmaker and now wanted to be King. Is not that I want to be seen to be arrogant but the North has always been the kingmaker.

Ango who is also the convener of the Northern Elders Forum(NEF) admitted that the region is facing serious problems, saying, ‘we feel we have to converge here in Arewa House to discuss and exchange views and ideas on what to do in order to be out the quagmire.

“As leaders of thought, we can offer something. Today’s meeting is perhaps the first of its kind to see leaders from ACF, NEF, dozens of other groups to discuss the problems of the region.

“Even though, we are supposed to be resting. We shouldn’t be here. My generation has overstayed their welcome or is overstaying their welcome.

“As I came into the hall, I kept asking where is so and so person, it then dawned on me that many have retired from active life.

“I told myself that the time has come for me to rest. The time has come for the younger ones and our children to take up the challenge. I am 84years.

In his keynote address, titled’ Rebuilding the North’, one of the Arewa elders, Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed remarked that the presidency should not be limited to a particular region and that it should be based on competency and ability to deliver.

“For the North, we cannot say it louder. A Northerner should be voted President only if he is the best. Being Northerner is not enough. All Nigerians need good leaders, but for us in the North, we will demand to see evidence that a candidate does not just want the power to fulfil personal ambition.

“We want to see evidence that those who want to lead us in future understand the roots of and solutions to our insecurity and poverty and distances from each other.

“We want to know how irredentism will be handled; how and when major changes in our structures and systems will be made to address popular grievances over the way our country should operate; how our economy can be re-engineered to achieve sustainable development and work for the rich and the poor equally, and how our young will be groomed to become productive, honest and patriotic citizens.

“We will demand to see an inclusive and competent team that will campaign with the candidate and transit with him into governance. We want a thoroughly Nigerian President who will be as hard on the bandit as he will be on secessionists and insurgents.

Scholars, former ministers, religious leaders, attended the one-day event.

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