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NEF insists North won’t play second fiddle in 2023

By Terhemba Daka, Joke Falaju (Abuja), Saxone Akhaine and Abdulganiyu Alabi (Kaduna)
20 September 2021   |   3:54 am
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has vowed not to play second fiddle in Nigeria, saying that the North has what it takes to lead the country again in 2023.

• Onyejocha roots for female President
• Citizens should enjoy right to education, empowerment, says Osinbajo

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has vowed not to play second fiddle in Nigeria, saying that the North has what it takes to lead the country again in 2023.

The reaction of the northern elders came on the heels of southern governors insisting the Presidency should shift to the South in 2023.

NEF Spokesman, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, argued that northerners were not second class citizens of Nigeria, hence the North would not accept to play second fiddle come 2023, with its population to contest the first position and win.

Delivering the keynote address during the maiden Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture Series at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, at the weekend, Baba-Ahmed said heaven would not fall, if a northerner emerged President.

The event was organised by the students’ wing of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG). Baba-Ahmed charged the students to be proud as Northerners, challenging them not to accept being treated as second-class citizens in their own country.

HOWEVER, the Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Nkiruka Onyejocha, has stated that female Presidency is possible by 2023, with the support of the kingmakers.

Onyejocha spoke to newsmen at the weekend in Abuja. She said: “Female President is possible for 2023. Why not? People supported all the people that have become President. If the players, the kingmakers, decided that a woman should become the next President, then that is it.”

Onyejocha, however, maintained that she was not interested in the seat.

“I am not dreaming to become President. There are people dreaming to become President, and I support them,” she said.The sponsor of a Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill, codenamed House Bill 1301, seeks additional seats for women in the legislature.

IN another development, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has tasked leaders at all levels to consider the education of their people, especially children, as a duty, enabling them access more socio-economic opportunities and live better.

Osinbajo stated this in Abuja, weekend, at an event organised to mark the 2021 Mass Literacy Day by the MALLPAI Foundation, a non-governmental organisation founded in 2009 by the wife of Kebbi State Governor, Aisha Bagudu.

Mass Literacy for the Less Privileged and Almajiri Initiative (MALLPAI) addresses concerns around illiteracy and out-of-school children, with a commitment to enhancing the quality of life by supporting and empowering initiatives that improve access to health, education and agriculture opportunities for Nigerians.

“We owe our people the duty to educate them. We owe our people a duty to lift their minds to the level where they can benefit maximally from their environment and give benefit to others,” the VP said. “Access to “education is a ticket to the full enjoyment of all human, civil and socio-political rights.”