By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Those attempting to weaken the North ahead of the 2023 elections for their own interests will fail because the region cannot be intimidated or blackmailed.
This was expressed in a statement issued after its meeting, signed by the Director, Advocacy and Publicity, Northern Elders Forum (NEF) Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, dated November 10, 2020.
“The Forum is aware of attempts to weaken the North by interests that believe that this is their only path to success in the 2023 elections.
“These interests should know that the North will neither be blackmailed nor intimidated, and we are quite capable of identifying and protecting our own interests.
“Some of these interests seek to exploit our plural nature and deepen what they see as divisions.
“They will fail, because Northerners know that what unites us is a lot stronger than what divides us,” it said.
NEF said that others create the impression that the North Is opposed to the country being restructured along lines that will improve the quality of our union, ensure higher standards of justice, better security and progress for all Nigerians.
“These too will fail. The North is ready to discuss all elements of our co existence, but will not be stampeded into submitting to other interests who feel uncomfortable with a strong and united North, or blackmailing us to adopt their versions of our future,” it stressed.
The statement informed that the forum has concluded arrangements to hold its annual Northern Assembly, the flagship of Northern unity which will focus on security of the North and the strategies for protecting and promoting northern political and economic interests in Nigeria
The Forum paid tribute to its Director-General, Dr. Yıma Sen who died recently, whose services have been invaluable in placing it in its current position in the estimation of our Northern communities.