The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has urged Nigerians to question presidential candidates about their plans to address the country’s challenges if elected.
According to NEF spokesman Baba Hakeem-Ahmed, who appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s program.
“Nigerians need to press our candidates. We desperately need to find out who among these people should be trusted,” he said.
While the major contenders, such as Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), are vastly experienced, he believes they should provide Nigerians with a roadmap to address the country’s major issues.
“These are all hugely-experienced people in terms of managing people. These are also people with enough money to get to at least a point where they are now candidates. Their personalities should be scrutinised,” the NEF spokesman maintained.
He stated that the recent town hall meeting organized by the group was to provide the candidates with a platform to tell the northern region and Nigerians what they have in store if elected in the 2023 election.
This type of discussion, he believes, should be replicated in other regions so that Nigerians are well-equipped to make the right decisions next year.
“If it can be replicated in other ways, it should be done. You need to press these candidates to be more specific in what they want to do,” he said, maintaining that the contenders should be “challenged”.
He stated that the NEF will go over the manifestos of the candidates to gain a better understanding of their capabilities.
With Nigeria’s economy faltering, oil production at historic lows, and insecurity a major concern, the next president will face a slew of pressing issues. The candidates have four months to sell themselves to the nation. A total of 18 presidential hopefuls are running, including one woman.