Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has told President Muhammadu Buhari to resign now and not wait for 2023 when his tenure elapses.
Reacting to statements credited to President Buhari who had told visiting ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) governors at his country home in Daura, Katsina State during the Eid-el-Kabir holidays, that he cannot wait for 2023 to come before handing over to the next government, the Northern elders told to make that decision and resign now.
Speaking while interacting with his followers on Twitter, via his verified handle (@baba_hakeem), Tuesday, Spokesperson for the NEF, Dr Hakeen Baba-Ahmed, in response to questions fielded by users on the micro-blogging platform, also stated that none of the Presidential candidates in the 2023 General Elections ‘will divide the country when he becomes President, unless they deliberately choose to.’
Dr Hakeen, who is the former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Secretary and older brother to the running mate of the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the forthcoming 2023 General Elections, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, advised President Buhari to quit office now because things would get tougher.
“President Buhari told APC Govs that he is looking forward to the end of his tenure, saying it has been tough.
“Who would remind him that he does not need to wait until May 29th, 2023? Who will tell him it looks like things will only get tougher?” Baba-Ahmed tweeted.
A Twitter user responded by saying: ‘The President doesn’t listen to mad men”, to which the NEF spokesperson replied: “Please tell him yourself. You will be doing us all a great favour. Remind him he is elected to perform governance functions like protecting citizens.
“If he will not, or cannot, he can yield the office to his Vice until 2023.Then he can start resting now. That’s how it works.”
It would be recalled that Buhari while hosting the APC governors had expressed the desire to leave office, as, according to him, he cannot wait till 2023 to do so, as the job is getting tougher for him.
Noting that he has less than a year left in office, the Nigerian leader, however, assured that he would do his best in the remaining months.
“I wish the person who is coming after me the very best. I am eager to go. I can tell you it has been tough”, Buhari had said.
Meanwhile, on the Twitter thread, another user (@AnthonyAnya33) had asked the NEF chieftain if the Labour Party (LP) Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, will divide the country if elected into office in 2023.
“I understand why you’re scared… he will divide the country but ask yourself what if he fails to win do you think the country will remain one?,” the Twitter user asked.
Reacting, Baba-Ahmed responded: “I am afraid you are wrong on both counts. Not Obi, no candidate will divide the country when he becomes President, unless he deliberately chooses to govern in a manner that infinitely dwarfs the current administration’s record.
“The country will not divide if Obi does not win either.”
Also, on the same subject, a user (@BroVic) replied with “You can’t blame them. The way Buhari misgoverned Nigeria would make northerners believe that people like Obi would embark exclusively on a revenge mission. Buhari really sowed seeds of discord and I pray we come out of it quickly.”
The NEF spokesperson responded: ‘Northerners are discerning. What is there to “revenge” against them? We have been the biggest victims of this administration’s failings, and we owe no apology for believing that we would be beneficiaries. Everyone’s fear now is that the next President will only be useful to ‘his’ own.”
Also, another user (@hammad902100) raised the question of loyalty and commitment on the part of Baba-Ahmed over the North’s cause, by tweeting: “Toh ai Baba Hakim kaima NEF ne no matter how you call yourself an individual you are not. You represent us. Daily Trust report on you I know it’s not fair to you amman kaga yanda suka maida shi controversial a nawa tunanin za’a mana dariya ace ai ga ku nan kun ce kaza kaza.”
Baba-Ahmed replied: “I understand and appreciate the advice. I assure you neither NEF nor I will abandon our core objectives: to protect and promote Northern interests. In most instances we cannot and do not do it alone. Many non-Northerners also want what we want to: good leaders, good country, justice.”