The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has said the North will not repeat same mistake of voting someone in the mould of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Rather, NEF said the region would only vote for a competent president regardless of where he comes from.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of the northern leaders of thought held at Arewa House Kaduna on Saturday, the Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, was emphatic northerners will not vote for just any candidate based on sentiment as it did in the case of Buhari in 2015.
NEF described Buhari’s tenure as a disaster not only for the region but also for the entire country.
The Northern elders said Northern and southern politicians have equal rights to vie for the nation’s exalted office in the 2023 presidential race.
He also said that the North would vote for a competent president in 2023 whether from the North or South, adding that the region would go for a competent ‘Nigerian president’ only.
Baba-Ahmed warned that no northern presidential candidate should take the region for granted in the 2023 race, pointing out that the North would not condone what he called “another Buhari mistake.”
He noted that the North was deceived into voting for Buhari believing that the country would be better off.
He lamented that “the reverse was the case today, as the North and the entire country are worse than when Buhari took over in 2015.”
“A northerner and a southerner have equal rights to contest, but northerners should be very careful about who they vote for in 2023.
“No northerner should take us for granted. That’s how we ended up with President Buhari. We don’t want to repeat the same mistake. If you are a northerner, you must be better than all the candidates; for us, that’s the bottom line.
“It’s not enough to be a northerner. You have to be the best. You have to be the best for the North and you have to be the best for the rest of Nigeria.
“We are looking for a Nigerian president. If it comes from the North, fine. But he must be voted for by Nigerians and he must be good and he must be better than all the others. That’s what we are looking for,” he said.