The Northern Elders Forum has committed not to repeat the mistakes that led to the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Making this disclosure during a Channels TV interview on Sunday evening, NEF Spokesman, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, admitted that the group made the mistake of blindly supporting President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 without scrutinizing the specific plans he had for the country.
He said that the group will rigorously investigate the agendas and plans of presidential candidates of party candidates before taking its decision on who to support at the 2023 presidential polls scheduled for February.
“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,” Baba-Ahmed said.
“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. It would no longer be about fixing the economy, security and the fight against Boko Haram, They must be specific,” he added.
“At this stage, our options are open. We will not vote on a narrow prism like where (candidates) come from. I speak for the elders’ forum. There was no point we said only northern candidates will be considered. We don’t see the north in isolation. We see ourselves as related to other parts of Nigeria.
“Buhari got away with it in 2015 and in 2019, we campaigned against him, saying this time he has failed and won’t be given another chance. Today, look at where the country is. We are not going to make that mistake again.”