By Chukwudi Nweje
Indigenous People of Nigeria (IPN) has told the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to perish the idea that the zone has the numbers to hold unto the presidency indefinitely.
It described as unfortunate and saddening the statement credited to spokesman of NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed that northern Nigeria has “the numbers” to retain the presidency perpetually.
IPN convener, Mazi Nnamdi Iroegbu, in a statement, yesterday, said Baba-Ahmed does not have the mandate to speak for northern Nigeria as he is a “migrant Fulani from Mauritania.”
He cautioned the NEF spokesman against stocking ethnic tension and called on all Nigerians, especially northerners to reject “the bigotry” being spread by te NEF and embrace power shift to the south in 2023.
He said the north was not homogeneous and that the Fulani, who Ahmed represents, was a minority ethnic group in the north and the whole of Nigeria.
“It is unfortunate and saddening that Alhaji Hakeem, a migrant Fulani man from Mauritania, claims to be speaking the minds of the indigenous Nigerians of northern extraction on the subject that he is not even qualified to speak about. It is an undisputed fact that at no time did Hakeem sought nor received the mandate of northern Nigerians to speak for them on the 2023 presidential race.
“For the sake of emphasis, the Hausa ethnic nationality is the predominant group in Northern Nigeria. In fact, the Fulani ethnic community, which Alhaji Hakeem is using to disguise as North, is actually a minority ethnic group in Nigeria, hence, cannot solely determine which ethnic nationality gets what, when and how in Nigeria. IPN restates its stance that in the interest of peace, equity, fairness and justice, the southern part of the country should be supported to produce Nigeria’s next president come 2023, particularly from the South East.