- To focus on key, strategic presidential candidates
- Insist on north maintaining its strategic advantage
Paul Obi in Abuja
In a strategic effort to put up a common front, Northern Leaders and Stakeholders Assembly (NLSA) wednesday inaugurated committees for the 2019 presidential election, restructuring, security and other critical areas.
The committees are expected to streamline critical northern agenda with regards to the 2019 presidential elections and as well reach a consensus on the restructuring debate which has gathered momentum across the country.
Inaugurating the committee in Abuja, NLSA Chairman and elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, maintained that the need for the North to foster unity among its people has become imminent given the prevailing circumstances facing the region ahead of 2019 general election.
He said: “Let me appeal to all the leadership of the various committees to create the narratives that would make people in our region shun poisonous propaganda and divisive tendencies.
“We need to sensitise our people on this. It is our obligation to history. Your work is to assist in providing guidance in areas that would assist the assembly in discharging its onerous duty.
“I believe that in addition to other areas of focus, the relevant committees will give insightful recommendations and assessment of the present day political reality of our country.
“Such recommendations will catalyse our dialogue on how we proceed towards achieving efficient and rancour free electioneering activities in the coming 2019 presidential and other elections for the sake of peace and tranquility in our mother land.”
Yakasai added that “as elders and stakeholders, we in the NLSA believe in looking for tested and capable individuals with proven record of integrity to deploy in our efforts at creating synergy and consensus in developing our democracy and nation building.
“Therefore, all hands must be on deck to rid our country of its malaise. We believe everybody has a role to play in sensitising our people in pursuing this noble objective.
“Given the irrefutable fact that in the history of Nigeria’s development, the North has always been a key strategic partner, it is important that the north maintains its strategic position in the national equation.
“The objective of this assembly, therefore, is to principally focus on a strategy towards evolving a brighter future, economically viable, politically stable and united northern Nigeria that we can all be proud of as an integral part of Nigeria.”
The group further stated that though the assembly is non-partisan, its objective is to promote political agenda of the north.
Speaking on insecurity, Yakasai explained that “it is the security challenges of Boko Haram, ethno-religious, communal crises and herders/farmers conflicts in the north that pose a serious challenge to our nation.”
He decried the deterioration of the legacies left behind by northern founding fathers, stating that, “all these legacies are now squandered by our succeeding generations of political actors and unfortunate aberration in governance.”
Secretary of the assembly, Dr, Umar Ardo, who presented the NLSA vision stressed that the aim of the body is to create a synergy that will “bring together northerners of good standing to arrest the drifts in the region and rebuild confidence among our people.
Dignitaries that attended the ceremony include former Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba, former Peoples Democratic Chairman, Dr Bello Haliru, former Governor of Adamawa State, Boni Haruna, Senator Paul Wampana, among others.