The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has said Northern Nigeria inherited leadership, insinuating that the British colonial administrators handed over the leadership of the country to the North in 1960.

 

The group said, for this reason, the North will not succumb to intimidation to give up the presidency in 2023.

Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, has been Nigeria's President since 2015, winning the election in 2019 for a second term in office.

 

The Southern region expects to produce the next President in 2023.

 

Meanwhile, the Northern group also stated that the region will fix its economy so as not to depend on other regions which it accused of intimidating the North.

 

The group revealed this through its spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed who delivered a keynote address at the maiden Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture Series organised by the students' wing of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, last weekend.

 

Baba-Ahmed also charged the students to be proud of who they are, challenging them not to accept being treated as second-class citizens in their own country.

 

“The North is not for sale and northerners will surprise those waiting for them to queue up in 2023 and be given money in exchange for their votes,” he said.

 

“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 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 believe 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 but 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.

 

He also charged the youths to be active in politics, saying, “Don’t accept second class status because you are a northerner. No northerner is a second-class citizen in this country. If we want to support a southerner, we will support a southerner because that will be in our own interest and we can decide for ourselves.”

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