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2023 Presidency: Again, Northern Elders Say No To Zoning

The issue of zoning the presidency in the 2023 election has suffered setback as Northern Elders have again downplayed the importance of zoning, saying that political parties should forget zoning of presidency to a particular region, stressing that power shift arrangement is already dead and buried.

This was made known by renowned northern Elder, Professor Ango Abdullahi. The professor averred that those seeking to contest for the presidency should be allowed to do so on the merit of their competence and not where they come from, adding that such positions should be left open for standard norms of democratic processes.

Professor Abdullahi, who is the convener of the Northern elders forum (NEF) stated this at his Zaria residence while reacting to the coalition of northern groups (CNG) leadership who paid him a courtesy visit to encourage him to continue the good works of providing trusted leadership.

The elder statesman, who disclosed that over 11 presidential aspirants which cut across various political parties have visited him in Zaria for his candid advice, prayers and support, added that the election of who becomes president of Nigeria should be left open and the winner allowed to emerge regardless of where he or she comes from.

“The issue of zoning or power shift is dead and buried, candidates should be allowed to contest election on the basis of merit of their competence and not where they come from, hence the Northern elders forum is of the opinion that the presidential position should be left open for standard norms of democratic process” he said.

On the controversial consensus process that produced former senate president, Bukola Saraki from North Central and governor Bala Mohammed from North East as northern consensus candidate for the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) he said four presidential aspirants started the consensus process on their own.

“They met former military head of state, Ibrahim Babangida and told him they had concluded consultations on possible consensus candidates but failed to arrive at one person and requested him to assist
“The aspirants insisted on us choosing from among them but we told them it was not possible, so we consulted elders from across the North West, North Central and North East before Aminu Tambuwal and Atiku Abubakar withdrew from the process.

“All elders voted for first and second choice. Saraki and Mohammed tied and both of them were asked to either pick one among themselves or do further consultation on the best among them and our recommendation was signed by me as Ango Abdullahi and not on behalf of NEF, a position I made very clear at a press conference I addressed in Minna”.

While lamenting that we have a collective failure in the country, he challenged any one to a debate on the state of the nation, stressing that what is killing us is self serving.

Earlier, the spokesperson of the CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman said, “We at the CNG will continue to look up to you as a great statesman, a mentor, a guardian, a living history and an embodiment of all the exemplary qualities young Northerners should strive to achieve.

“We finally urge you sir, to remain steadfast in providing leadership for strong resistance to the antics of these political dealers desperately seeking to market the worst, unproductive, inefficient individuals with no record of credence in all their endeavours on the people as candidates from the North”

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