Ahead of the 2015 elections, the 19 Northern Governors, yesterday, expressed determination to sink their differences and unite to produce the president from the region in 2015. This was the outcome of their quarterly meeting held in Kaduna.
Speaking the minds of his colleagues at the opening session of the meeting, chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, and Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu said the northern governors, this time around, will not allow what happened in 2011 to repeat itself in 2015 as they will unite against candidates from the south.
According to Governor Aliyu, “we must be united more than ever to go into the 2015 elections as one entity with the aim of producing the president”. He then advised all governors and politicians in the north to remain focused and pursue issues of development rather than trivial issues that have led to the retrogression of the region in recent years.
Meanwhile, following the war of words between former head of state, and presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, General Muhammadu Buhari and the presidency over the general prediction of a bloodbath should the 2015 election be rigged, the forum admonished political leaders in the country to be cautious about their comments on important national issues that may polarise the country.
In a communique issued after the meeting, the forum said, “we want to caution eminent Nigerians against inflammatory statements capable of affecting our fragile unity and security. We must be concerned about the unity and development of the country in all ramifications”
Chairman of the Forum, Babangida Aliyu who was asked by newsmen after he had read the communiqué to state the position of the forum on the comment credited to Gen. Mohammed Buhari had this to say: “May be those who may be too concerned have not looked at what other eminent Nigerians have been talking about. I saw one that said Nigeria is going to be Somalianized; I saw another one who has been talking like there would be war tomorrow. So, for me, that statement should be taken on its own value - do not go and do bad election.
“ I think that is the whole thing I will take there. All of us who are involved in elections, political parties, contestants and voters themselves, we must all be careful about what we say. But, again, like I said certain people in that position, certain vocabularies they use should be chosen carefully. So, both ways let’s take it on our own stride and ensure that future elections are seen to be transparent and are seen to be good”, he said.
On security in the North, the communiqué reads: “The level of insecurity in the northern states is alarming. The forum resolved to intensify efforts to find lasting solutions to the problems by reaching out to all stakeholders”.
On the major economic issues affecting the northern states, the communiqué said various committees have been set up to address them accordingly. The committees have been set up on agriculture, Textile industries and the New Nigeria Newspapers whose workers have been on strike for more than three months.
Speaking before the commencement of the meeting, Muazu Babangida Aliyu stated that the Northern governors would stake their mandates together as a united team in 2015..
He however noted that 2015 was still too far to become the main topic of discussion among serious elected leaders.