The Northern Elders’ Forum has warned that it would be in the best interest of the All Progressive Congress to field a candidate of northern extraction for the 2015 presidential election.
Deputy Chairman of the forum, Dr. Paul Unongo, who made this known in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, said the North was ready to work with the APC, because the chance of having a northerner emerging as the presidential candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party was fast becoming unrealistic.
Unongo added that the forum and other like-minded groups in the North were ready to support the emergence of the best presidential aspirant from the North on the platform of APC.
He noted that the APC’s decision to throw its presidential ticket open to all regions of the country was a politically correct decision, which would not diminish the chances of a northerner emerging as the party’s flag-bearer.
He said, “I respect the APC very much. I think for the growth of this nation, political parties should throw their party ticket open to people from every region of the country. But we, in the Northern Elders Forum, will work within the provisions of the constitution, to choose not just any northerner, but a qualified Nigerian from any of the 19 northern states of the federation to be our candidate.
“We believe that a person, whose interest coincides with our interest of developing the North and the rest of Nigeria, will do better than what Jonathan has done. We believe that if there is no opportunity for us in the PDP, there must be another party where we, the politicians and intellectuals in the North, can go and fight for our candidate to win”.
Unongo recalled that the North had worked together with the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, to elect Aminu Tambuwal, a northerner, as Speaker of the House of Representatives, against the plan of the ruling PDP to zone the position to the Southwest.
The NEF chieftain said that was an indication that the North and APC could work together come 2015.