Northern leaders have said that no aspirant has been endorsed as the region’s presidential candidate for the 2019 election.
They disclosed this on Wednesday, May 10, 2018, in Abuja when they visited the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who charged them to join the Federal Government in finding lasting solutions to the incessant killings in the country.
The delegation under the aegis of the Northern Leaders and Stakeholders Assembly (NLSA) was led to the National Assembly by its Chairman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai.
Other members of the group were former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, former Minister of Defence, Haliru Ballo Mohammed, former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, former FCT ministers, Bala Mohammed and Abba Gana, former Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Inna Ciroma, Dr. Umar Ardo, Hajia Zainab Maina, Dr. Mamman Shata, and Senator Joseph Waku.
Saraki noted that peace and unity are essential to realising the overall development of the country and commended the group for rising up to contribute their quota to achieving a peaceful and prosperous country.
He said: “By this time, as elders, you ought to be resting, but the patriotism in you brought you out. You said you are political but non-partisan, we are all political and we need to get Nigeria in the right direction.
“Being leaders, this is the time to find lasting solutions. This is not the time for blame. This is the time for us to bring peace and regional dialogue. No society worth its salt will keep quiet in the face of these killings.
“Something somewhere is wrong. We need to meet to bring about peaceful coexistence and unity in this country. Part of the solution is to know that something is wrong.
“I am happy that you are here and we will speak truth about the problems and to conduct ourselves on how to encourage dialogue and ensure that the right thing is done,” he said.
Earlier, Yakassai said that the visit was to brief the Senate President on the formation of the organisation, its aims and objectives.
He said that the group was not out to get a consensus presidential candidate for the North as being rumoured in some quarters, but to cooperate with Nigerians who share in its vision and mission.
Yakassai said that the group was out to formulate and device methods of preventing and resolving conflicts with the goal of creating and sustaining peaceful coexistence, arrest the drift in the North, restore individual and group confidence.
Besides, he said the group will look at the problems of armed robbery, kidnapping and herdsmen/farmers clashes and to find a way to resolving them.
He said that the group would soon organize a northern political summit to address the identified problems and sought the support of the National Assembly for the event.