The Northern Elders Forum says the region will not make the mistake of 2015 that brought President Muhammadu Buhari to power.
Speaking on Channels TV on Sunday, the spokesman of NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said the forum would subject all the major 2023 presidential candidates to scrutiny to determine how prepared they are and their plans to tackle the myriad of problems that pervades the country before endorsing any of them.
He noted that they have the responsibility of telling the entire Northerners who to vote.
He said unlike in 2015, when they told Northerners to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari without finding out what he aimed to achieve, the group would scrutinize Peter Obi of the Labour Party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar until the NEF is convinced about who can fix the country.
According to him, the 2023 election would “no longer be about fixing the economy, security and the fight against Boko Haram,” stating that the candidates must be specific on what they aim to achieve if they win the election.
He said, “We will subject all candidates, including Atiku, Tinubu, Obi, through a rigorous process, and they had better be willing because, believe me, we carry the responsibility on our shoulders to advise people in the north where to go.
“I am not saying this to impress anybody. We will exercise that responsibility seriously.
“What we promise not to do this time around was not to repeat what we did in 2015 and say ‘Vote for only Sai Baba’ where we escort him to the villa but failed to sit him down and ask what he planned to do.