From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Ahead of the 2023 general election, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) clarified that it would remain neutral, as it is not affiliated with any political party.
NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, explained in a statement that the clarification came as a timely continuation of the role played by its organizer, Professor Ango Abdullahi, in creating a consensus among four candidates for the ticket. President of the People’s Democratic Party. (PDP).
Baba-Ahmed said: “It has become necessary to remedy the impression created partly by malice and partly by genuine confusion over the role of the organizer of the Northern Elders Forum, in the efforts to create a consensus among four presidential candidates on the platform of the PDP.
“The idea of trying to create a consensus among the seekers was that of the seekers themselves.
“Governors Aminu W Tambuwal and Bala Mohammed, former Senate Speaker ABSaraki and Malam Mohammed Hayatudeen had informed President Badamasi Babangida of their intention and requested the intervention and guidance of the elderly in case their efforts did not produce of consensus.
“President Babangida has in turn asked Professor Ango Abdullahi, as an individual, to design and manage a process that can enhance a consensual agreement between the four candidates.
“Professor Ango Abdullahi concluded this mission and published a detailed report and recommendation, signing it in his individual capacity.
“It is important to clarify that the entire process did not involve the Northern Elders Forum as a group and is not a product of the group.
“Professor Ango Abdullahi is free to engage in any lawful activity as a citizen, and genuine misinterpretations of his role are understandable.
“The Northern Elders Forum is not affiliated with any political party or aspirant, and is strongly committed to creating a level playing field that will allow the best leaders to emerge in the 2023 election.
“He has also remained steadfast in his belief that all parts of the country must play their part freely, unhindered by restrictions that violate the principles of inclusion and fairness.
“The Forum believes that the North has excellent candidates whose fate should be left to party delegates and voters to decide.
“The Forum remains united behind the protection and projection of the interests of the North and Nigeria, and will play its role as it has whenever circumstances require.”