Southern politicians planning on buying Northern votes in the next presidential election will be shocked at the outcome of their plot, says Northern Elders Forum (NEF).
This is coming amidst demands that power should return to the Southern part of the country in 2023 when President Muhammadu Buhari has completed his second and final tenure as a democratic leader.
While politicians in the South are insisting on rotational presidency which will see power returning to their region, most of their Northern counterparts are clamouring to retain power by producing another Nigerian leader after Mr Buhari.
Joining the controversy, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) said the region will not accept the slot of producing the next Vice President when it has the numeric strength to wrestle and win the position of President.
Spokesman of the forum, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, made the position of the group known on Saturday while speaking at the maiden Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture Series organised by the student-wing of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria.
The Director of Publicity of the NEF said Southern politicians who think Northerners are economically docile due to acts on terrorism in their region and are planning on how to buy Northern votes with money in the next presidential poll will be shocked.
“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,” Mr Baba-Ahmed posited. “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.
“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,” the NEF mouthpiece added.