Seventeen northern groups led by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) have collectively rejected the idea of rotating the presidency as 2023 elections draws close.
According to them, they will not be “stampeded or blackmailed into taking major decision around rotating the Presidency.”
However, they have said they support the idea of restructuring which they believe will make Nigeria survive as one country.
In a communiqué that was signed yesterday after the Northern People’s Summit which was held in Kaduna, the groups complained that the North has lower in all spheres of human existence under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari and the 19 Northern States governors.
The communiqué was read by the Chairman of the Communiqué Drafting Committee, Professor Doknan Sheni, the groups asked political figures and the upper class in the North to be improve their ability to respond to North’s pluralism
They said the summit was ‘a productive forum for utilizing Pan-Northern assets in the search for resolution of Northern problems’.
The Northern region according to them, ‘stronger if it addresses it’s internal weaknesses particularly around ethno-religious matters as it relates to its challenges with the rest of Nigeria’.
“Perception and practice of creating minorities and majorities among Northerners should have no place in the North, nor is discrimination on basis of place, faith or ethnic group of any Northerner,” they said.
“The North believes that restructuring the country is now a vital necessity for survival as one united entity. The North will not be stampeded or blackmailed into taking major decisions around rotating the Presidency”.
”The North draws attention of the country to the inherent fragility of Nigerian State. For Nigeria to survive, all parts of the country must equally commit to supporting its continuation as one entity, without equivocation or subterfuge. The North extends an invitation to groups that are genuinely interested in discussing the future of the country”.
”The North believes that every interest can be accommodated in one united, just and equitable nation, but the North cannot be the sole custodian of this endeavour. The North warns against the continuation of demonisation, attacks and killings of Northerners in the Southern parts of the country”.
”It demands that federal and state governments must take firmer steps to protect members of Northern communities who live in the South. This includes the arrest and prosecution of persons who are involved in these dangerous activities. The North urges Northern communities to continue to exercise restraint and be good hosts”.
”The North invites the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari, Northern governors and legislators to the fact that under their watch, the North has sunk lower in all indices of human existence. Delegates at the Summit commit to continuously engage in searching for solutions, as well as raising their voices against poor governance, corruption and absence of commitment to deal with insecurity, poverty and hopelessness among Northerners.”
While asking the government to show effective presence in all ungoverned spaces in the North, the northern groups resolved that “there should be government-backed negotiations and dialogue with bandits, Boko Haram and affected communities for effective peace in the North”.
The Communiqué was signed by Air Marshal Al-Amin Daggash of Northern Elders Forum (NEF); Ambassador Ibrahim Mai-Sule for Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF); Dr. Usman Bugaje for Arewa Research Development Project (ARDP); Engr. Bello Suleiman for Code Group (CG); and Dr. Sadiq Umar Abubakar Gombe for The Northern Movement (TNM)