THE Southern and Middle Belt Alliance on Monday condemned a statement credited to the Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the Northern Elders Forum, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in which he boasted that northern Nigeria has the voting population and would not play second fiddle in 2023.
In a statement titled, “2023: SAMBA slams Northern Elders Forum, describes statement as reckless, careless”, signed by its Spokesperson, Rwang Pam on Monday, the group described Baba-Ahmed statement as “reckless, careless and insensitive.”
It read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to the statement credited to Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the Northern Elders Forum, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed that the North is not ready to relinquish power in 2023, claiming that the region has majority of votes and democracy says ‘vote whom you want’.
“Let Dr Baba-Ahmed be reminded that without the Middle Belt, such numbers boasted about in the North is mere political posturing.
“It is disheartening that Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed will make such a reckless and careless statement at a time when we are still battling to keep the country united.
“One would have expected that the retired Federal Permanent Secretary, with his exposure and academic prowess will choose his words carefully, but it is quite unfortunate that NEF will talk recklessly.
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“It is certain that some liberal minded people in the North will be shedding secret tears as a result of the statement credited to the Northern Elders Forum, because it is based on a delusion of a ‘One North’ that has treated the Middle Belt region as second-class citizens.”