The Northern Elders Forum has said that it regretted that it got rid of then President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 elections to vote in the incumbent, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The group expressed disappointment that Buhari has let down millions of Nigerians including members of the All Progressives Congress who trusted in his leadership prior to the poll six years ago.
NEF, therefore, said that the next President of Nigeria should be one who would act in the “opposite direction” of Buhari, who hails from Katsina, North-West Nigeria.
NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, spoke on Tuesday when he featured on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ breakfast programme monitored by The PUNCH.
He said, “Is there any Nigerian who is not disappointed in President Buhari including diehard APC people? Is there anybody who would not tell you he wished President Buhari had done much better?
“We raised huge expectations, we told people, ‘Get rid of Jonathan, put Buhari there, he would fix corruption, he would fix insecurity, he would fix the economy’ (but) look at where we are now.
“How can anybody say they are happy with the record of President Buhari, even the people very close to him would tell you that they wished he could have done much better and he could have done much better and he hasn’t.”
Next president should act in opposite direction of Buhari’
The group’s spokesman said Nigeria needs a President who would act in the “opposite direction” of Buhari in terms of economic policies, security, amongst others.
“So, what we need to do now is to get ready to elect another President who would go in the opposite direction, a President who has a vision and a clear idea of what governance involves rather than just being a President. So, I am disappointed and that is why today, I am actively involved in trying to see that a new leader emerges in getting Nigerians a new lease of life,” Baba-Ahmed noted.
The PUNCH had reported that the group which was actively involved in the emergence of Buhari said that the President has failed in the two critical areas of security and economy and as such has “nothing new to offer” Nigerians. NEF had called for the resignation of Buhari in December 2020.
Goodluck Jonathan: Ex-Gov, ex-VP, ex-President
Jonathan, 63, –of the Peoples Democratic Party, was Nigeria’s Vice-President between 2007 and 2010. The former Bayelsa State governor assumed position as the President in 2010 after the death of then President Umaru Yar’adua, a two-term governor of Katsina State.
Jonathan subsequently contested the 2011 presidential election and won but lost his reelection in 2015 to Buhari, a former military head of state between 1983 and 1985.
Though out of Aso Rock, Jonathan has been seen working closely with the incumbent in his role as Special Envoy of the Economic Community of West African States.
With the 2023 elections fast approaching and the clamour for power shift to the South, Jonathan, who has the legal right to one more term as Nigeria’s President as the constitution permits all eligible Nigerians to be in office for two terms of eight years, has been receiving entreaties from the APC.