Northern Elders Forum met in Kaduna State yesterday and called on President Buhari to fix the nation’s ailing economy.
The group however said, despite the current economic woes, their votes for him in the 2015 presidential election were never wasted.
“If Buhari or any other northerner presented himself for Presidency in 2019,” they said, “We would gladly vote for the individual.”
A former INEC Secretary, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, who spoke on behalf of the group said “Today, we meet in Kaduna in a vastly-improved security atmosphere, with the Boko Haram sect pinned to enclaves.
“Some will say thank you to President Buhari; we will say, you have delivered on one of your promises, which was to improve security.
“We will not join those who say President Buhari should stop reminding us of a past that is haunting us today.
“But we will join those who remind him daily that hunger is stalking millions of homes.
“Inflation is making life difficult by the day. People are losing their jobs. Businesses are closing down. Infrastructure is decaying.
“Young Nigerians are losing hope of being employed.
“Our hospitals are full of people who suffer mysterious illnesses, and they cannot afford the fees.”
“So, those who are disposed to listen, please listen. Northern votes were not wasted in electing President Buhari.
“In 2019, we will also use our votes in a manner consistent with our interests as northerners.
“We did not make a mistake in putting up a solid, united front as northerners in spite of our ethno-religions differences.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Northern Governors Forum and helmsman of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, said neither IPOB nor any other separatist agitators can divide Nigeria.
Shettima said the current calls by some Nigerians by other ethnic nationalities in the country were purely the handiwork of those who had lost in the “chess of power politics” in the country.