The Northern Elders’ Forum has said that the heavens will not fall if a northerner succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

“We will surprise them in 2023 because we will vote for who we want, including the northerners, and nothing will happen. If we choose to vote for a northerner, the heavens will not fall. We will choose who we want in this country,” said Hakeem Baba-Ahmed at the inaugural edition of the Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture Series held over the weekend.

According to the Peoples Gazette, the group also asserted that northerners would rather live with poverty than being disrespected by southerners as the contention over which geopolitical region should produce the president in 2023 heats up.

“A northerner is a respectable Nigerian. We can live with our poverty, but we cannot live with a sense of disrespect and anybody who toys with our respect. We will fight them to the end,” the NEF spokesman explained.

He urged northern youths to continue to push for a northern Nigeria that determines the country’s direction.

“We inherited the North that determined where Nigeria went. We dropped the ball, and we are leaving you to pick it. The North needs young people to be strong enough,” Baba-Ahmed added.

According to the NEF chief, the north has the numerical strength to decide who becomes the next president in the country.

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