Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), has said heaven will not fall if a northerner becomes the next President of Nigeria.
Baba-Ahmed, who said northerners are not second-class citizens of Nigeria, said the region would not accept to be second fiddle in 2023, when it has the population to become the first.
The keynote address was delivered at the maiden Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture Series organized by the students wing of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria this weekend.
He said, “The North is not for sale, and northerners will surprise those waiting for them to line up and be paid for their votes in 2023.”.
Anyone who doesn’t want a northerner as President should leave the country.
In addition, he challenged the students not to accept being treated as second-class citizens within their own nation.
“We will lead Nigeria the way we have led Nigeria before, whether we are President or Vice President, we will lead Nigeria. We have the majority of the votes and the democracy says vote whom you want. Why should we accept second class position when we know we can buy form and contest for first class and we will win? “Why does anybody need to threaten us and intimidate us? We will get that power, but be humble because power comes from God. We inherited leadership, being honest is not being stupid. “There are Nigerians who believed that because the economy of the North is being crumbled; we are running away from insecurity, we are politically vulnerable, they think they can buy us for 2023 they are making a mistake. “We are ready for this, we will consider every economic adversity, challenge, we will fix the Northern economy and we are the only one who can fix this Northern economy. For that reason, we are not for sale. We are in the process of rebuilding the North and we will rebuild the North from 2023.”
Baba-Ahmed says that regardless of whether the north holds power in 2023 or not, whoever wishes to break up this country will do so, because they were just looking for an excuse.
“Don’t accept second-class citizenship because you are a northerner; we have no second-class citizens in this country,” he advised the youths. “If we want to support a southerner, we will do so because that is in our own best interest and we can decide for ourselves.”
Additionally, the Police Service Commission (PSC) Commissioner, Hajia Naja’atu Bala Muhammad, called on youths to stop being intellectually lazy and selling their rights to leadership for peanuts.
Earlier, the lecturer at the event, Dr. Riyahuddeen Zubair Maitama, who spoke on “Ethical Reorientation for Positive Attitudinal Change: An Urgent National Imperative”, called for urgent ethical reorientation for positive attitudinal change among Nigerians both the governors and the governed especially the youth on whose shoulder the future of the country rests.