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Northern Leaders Meet Over 2019 Elections



Several Northern leaders, under the aegis of Northern Elders and Stakeholders, met in Abuja on Saturday to deliberate on strategic plans for the Northern region ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The purpose of the meeting, according to its convener, former National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Dr. Bello Mohammed, was to deliberate on picking a consensus candidate from the North to contest for the presidency in 2019.

Dr. Mohammed, who declared that the office of the presidency has been zoned to the Northern region by “the major political operators, stated that the meeting was highly expedient so that the North can pick its own leaders and then garner support from other geo-political zones.

“After due consideration of the current political situation in the country, it becomes highly expedient to convene a conversation of critical Northern Elders and Stakeholders to deliberate on the best way forward for the region.

“The conversation was necessitated by the need for us to deliberate and reach an acceptable choice for representation, given that the 2019 Presidency has been zoned to the North.

“From what is apparent in the political arena today, it is clear that the major political operators have agreed that in the forthcoming 2019 general elections, it is the turn of the North to produce the President.

“From what we have seen earlier, it has always been zoned to the North but the decision on what to do and who to present has never been a northern decision.

“What we want is that this time round, let us have the opportunity to come together so that whatever is decided for the North, it is the northern leaders who decide it and then we get support from other regions.

“If we are able to do that, then we should be able to produce a leadership for this country that would be just, equitable and lead us to nation’s development which is eluding us. That is the reason why we are here”, Mohammed, a former minister of Defence, said.

In addition, a communique was released at the end of the meeting and announced that the Northern elders had decided to establish a committee to look for and present an acceptable candidate for the position of the president in 2019.

The communique, issued by the chairman of the Communique Drafting Committee, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, stated that the elders’ forum had constituted several committees, including a committee to handle the region’s interest for the 2019 elections and restructuring of the nation.

“This meeting is hereby established as a standing forum for the Northern Region to be known as Northern Political Leaders Forum.

“Five Sub-Committees are hereby set up to address the various issues challenging the Northern Region. The sub-committee during the summit are Security Sub-Committee; Political Sub-Committee; Northern Unity Sub-Committee; the 2019 Election Sub-Committee and the Restructuring of Nigeria Sub-Committee.

“The details of the members will be announced in due course”, the communique read.

The communique also announced that the meeting approved the organisation of a Northern Political Summit on March 15, 2018, to commemorate the attainment of self-government of the Northern Region in 1959.






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