Nigeria2015: Northern elders yet to decide on preferred presidential candidate – Yakasai

NEC says the insecurity in Nigeria poses a challenge
The Northern Elders Council, NEC, has stated that it is yet to decide on whom to support in the run up to the 2015 presidential election.

The NEC stated this on Wednesday in Abuja at a press conference convened by its chairman, Tanko Yakasai.

Mr. Yakasai said the NEC would only come up with a position on the agitation by the north to produce the next president after all the political parties have decided on their presidential candidates.

“When we know the candidates in the country we will make up our mind,” Mr. Yakasai said.

Mr. Yakasai also said the NEC was not formed to challenge the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, saying his group is also part of the ACF.

“We are not out to compete with ACF, we recognize them as the umbrella organization for all northerners, and we are therefore part and parcel of the ACF,” he said.

The statesman also commented on the increasing insurgency in the northern part of the country and said it is unacceptable to allow anyone exploit the situation in order to create disharmony, hate and general instability in the polity.

He said his group would sensitise the people of the north with a view to articulating and defining the position of the region on vital national issues.

“As elders, we cannot shy away from the call to duty, neither can we abdicate our collective responsibility in the face of daunting challenges threatening the unity, stability and cohesion of our dear country,” he said.

He said the menace of Boko Haram and other ethno-religious crisis in the north, as well as violent crimes such as kidnapping and armed robberies in other parts of the country, pose serious challenge to the nation.

Mr. Yakasai said that the continued prevalence of crime has led to some sort of mutual distrusts and suspicion among the citizenry.

“That is why it is necessary for all men of honour and goodwill to reject anybody purportedly speaking for and on our behalf who make inciting, divisive and provocative statements capable of undermining our national unity and democracy,” he said.

Mr. Yakasai also said the NEC condemns attempts by politicians to drag traditional rulers into the mainstream political activities in the nation.

“We would like to sound a word of caution against such acts,” he said.

 


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