Prof. Ango Abdullah, the leader of the Northern Elders Forum has said that the issue of zoning should be buried and that Presidential candidates should be elected on the basis of merit.
Abdullahi who spoke while receiving the leadership of the Coalition of Northern Groups who paid him a courtesy visit in Zaria, Kaduna State on Thursday April 28, stated that candidates should be allowed to contest elections on the basis of merit of their competence and not where they come from.
The NEF leader also commented on the controversial emergence of former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Governor Bala Mohammed as consensus candidates of Northern Elders.
“The issue of zoning or power shift is dead and buried, candidates should be allowed to contest election on the basis of merit of their competence and not where they come from, hence the Northern Elders Forum is of the opinion that the presidential position should be left open for standard norms of the democratic process.
“They met former military Head of State, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, and told him they had concluded consultations on possible consensus candidate but failed to arrive at one person and requested him to assist and he called me and few others.
“The aspirants insisted on us choosing from among them but we told them it was not possible, so we consulted elders from across the North West, North Central and North East before Aminu Tambuwal and Atiku Abubakar withdrew from the process.
“All elders voted for first and second choice and Bukola Saraki and Governor Bala Mohammed tied and both of them were asked to either pick one among themselves or do further consultation on the best among them and our recommendation was signed by me as Ango Abdullahi and not on behalf of NEF, a position I made very clear at a press conference I addressed in Minnam.”