Be wary of influence peddlers, northern elders tell Buhari
A northern socio-political organisation, the Northern Elders Council (NEC) has urged the Federal Government to handle preparations for the forthcoming general elections with caution in order to ensure a rancour-free and transparent exercise.
It warned against the activities of those it described as non-state actors within the corridors of power, whose intents, it noted, are not just to feather their nests, but will stop at nothing to use their closeness to leadership to unleash chaos and derail the electoral process, for their selfish gains.
It warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to be wary of such elements.
The socio-political association, which is led by 98-year-old elder statesman, Mallam Tanko Yakasai also enjoined Nigerians to be careful in their choices by not falling for the traps of groups and political parties running ethnic agendas, as well as those parading candidates with the blemishes of corruption on their identity.
In a statement, NEC said just like it has done in the past, it has taken stock of developments around the nation’s political space and would be joining forces with progressive elements to ensure Nigerians do not get it wrong at the coming polls.
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The group, which said it sticks with the position of its leader, Mallam Yakasai, who had weeks ago expressed his support for the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, said it would be making more policy statements on the state of the nation in coming days, after its next congress.
The statement, by its chairman, Mallam Yakasai said: “NEC, at all times, will not shy away from its commitment to peace, unity, and stability of Nigeria. NEC’s power is invested in elected people who hold it in trust for the electorate.
“People who, out of consanguinity ties, friendship loyalties, or privileged proximity to elected public officials, abuse power, must be rejected and prevented from subverting the popular will of people’s choices during elections.
“Corruption is not only about monetary and unfettered access to the state treasury. It also includes peddling in influence by a handful of non-state actors in the corridors of power, seeking to foster chaos to derail democratic transitions, as enshrined in the constitution. We must resolutely reject that in this country.
“Northern Elders Council, under the leadership of Mallam Tanko Yakasai, in this regard, appeals to the Federal Government to be mindful of its onerous responsibility for organized, rancour-free and transparent elections, as a lasting legacy in promoting the sanctity of democratic rule.
“NEC has made an unequivocal statement and principled declaration of its support for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as its presidential candidate for the forthcoming presidential election.
“The congress of NEC will shortly meet and make public, more policy statements on the State of the Nation.”
Meanwhile, the group commended President Buhari for boldly professing his support for his party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Tinubu, during the party’s presidential campaign rally in Lafia, Nasarawa State last Saturday, describing the outing as a masterstroke that will send the right signal, not just to the faithful of the ruling party, but to all Nigerians, allowing all to see that there are no cracks within the ruling party.