The Northern Elders’ Forum has stated that it does not accept secession as a solution to the problems of Nigeria, noting that the Nigerian government must quell all secessionist agitations and agenda in the country.
The NEF Chairman, Prof Ango Abdullahi, who stated this on Wednesday added that the northern region had paid a huge price for the survival of Nigeria, and in the 2023 elections, the region would think outside the box to elect better leaders.
The NEF chair warned that “innocent northerners” should not be made pawns in political games because the political elite wanted the support of the region.
Abdullahi spoke at the First Northern People’s Summit held at Arewa House on Wednesday.
He said, “There will be no longer business as usual. Nigerians running away from bullets, stressing to make ends meet, or being made to fight each other instead of the real enemy will not forgive those who built the foundations of our circumstances today and seek to sustain their privileges over our fears and pains. Leadership has to emerge on the basis of different criteria. Only the best leadership can pull Nigeria from the brink.
“We must send a message to people who are bent on assaulting and killing our people that they are treading a very dangerous path, and they must stop. It is not acceptable that innocent northerners should be made pawns in political games because political elite cannot win support of their people without yielding grounds to thugs and political minions to intimidate northerners.
“The North has paid a huge price for the survival and unity of Nigeria, and will continue to support this survival and unity to the degree that it serves everyone’s interests. We do not see secession as a solution for any grievance, and we strongly advise our national leadership to take these threats with all the seriousness they deserve.
“No country can survive with injustice. If ours will overcome its challenges and grow to meet the yearnings of future generations, it has to rediscover the place of justice as the foundation of all our systems and relations. I earnestly hope that this summit will contribute to the search for major entry points for this endeavour.
“We call for leaders and citizens to rise and collaborate to rid us of fear and the pains of daily existence. Northerners should lead the way to find solutions to Northern problems, and work with other Nigerians to find solutions to national problems.”