North Elders Forum threatens to reject 2023 candidates over arrests, killings in the South
Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed
Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has said that the North will reject presidential candidates who refuse to speak against killings in the South.
In a statement issued by the Director of the Publicity and Advocacy of the forum, Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed on Friday condemned the recent killings of Northerners in South especially in Imo state.
It described the Imo killings as one incident among many recent incidents that involve harassment, illegal arrests, attacks, and killings of Northerners, saying it is unacceptable and intolerable.
“We are deeply concerned over rising cases of profiling, targeting, and killings of Northerners in many parts of the South. The recent murder of Nigerians in Imo State apparently on suspicion that they were northerners, is one incident among many recent ones that involve harassment, illegal arrests, attacks, and killings of Nigerians from the North.
It lamented that those who enjoyed these killings drew inspiration from the silence of leaders as well as security agencies.
“The impression that northerners are fair game for groups and organizations in the South is forcing northerners to exercise their rights to travel and live peacefully in any part of Nigeria only under great danger and fear. This is intolerable and unacceptable.
“The Forum demands that governments, communities and law enforcement agencies protect northerners living in the South.
“It demands clear and emphatic condemnation from leaders, elders and communities who understand that the welfare and security of all citizens are vulnerable to the degree that other citizens are unsafe in certain parts of the country.
To this end, “We serve notice that the North will use the degree to which contestants for political office speak in clear terms in condemnation of these attacks on northerners as a yardstick for our support of candidates and parties.
“While we appeal to all communities to live in peace with each other, we also demand that killers who target northerners are found and punished.”