The Northern Elders Forum on Wednesday raised concerns that
ethnicity and greed threatened to thwart the emergence of a country capable of turning the tide in 2023.

The organization has expressed concern about developments in many aspects of Nigerian politics in relation to preparations for the 2023 elections and beyond, the organization.

A statement by NEF Publicity and Advocacy Director, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in Abuja, accused politicians of “desperately steering Nigerians between two irreconcilable religious divisions, all for the sake of gaining undeserved benefits. to the detriment of religious tolerance and coexistence. ”

He said: “These developments threaten our already troubled democratic process. Our politics now operate outside safe and tolerable limits, and the nation will pay dearly for the desperation and limitations of those who should show leadership and responsibility among our politicians.

“It is not responsible to resist the urge to caution politicians solely on the grounds that many issues that will impact our lives and the quality of our national existence are purely internal affairs of political parties.

“The search for a running mate for the APC presidential candidate with two people’s religious faith as the only stake is a sad reminder that our politicians will not allow our democratic system to grow beyond the narrowest bounds. .

“Nigerians take their faith seriously, but we are also painfully aware that the faith of our leaders has never been a factor in the way we are governed. Political maneuverings within the CPA are now distracting attention from serious issues related to the quality of governance and highlighting the danger that we are a multi-religious country whose citizens will pay dearly if a politician is not Christian or Muslim.

“The melodrama surrounding the selection of the PDP Vice Presidential candidate and the role of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, will remain constant reminders that power and wealth, no matter how acquired, have made our political process its hostage.

“The ransom that will be paid to unleash our democratic process may be such that the nation cannot afford it. Our nation is carved into fortresses controlled by powerful individual politicians who must be appeased at all costs, and we will pay a huge price if these politicians succeed in imprinting their personalities on the democratic process.

“Among a handful of other parties with the potential to make a difference, ethnicity and greed threaten to thwart the emergence of a nation capable of turning the tide in 2023.

“Instead of exploring options and opportunities that will improve their chances of giving Nigerians real and believable personalities, we are only seeing frightening levels of hostility and ethnic chauvinism, as we saw recently during exchanges between Labor and NNPP leaders Ethnic identity in particular seems capable of being elevated to a point where it alone can cripple a successful transition to 2023 and beyond.

“Our politics have become an additional burden on the Nigerian citizen, overshadowing even the growing insecurity, poverty and cynicism about the prospects of our survival as one nation. If the way our politicians seek power is a indicator of the quality of leadership they will provide, then the nation has good reason to be concerned about its future.Other leaders representing special interests compound our concerns with periodic threats and ultimatums to which an already weakened leadership n there is no solution.

“Prospects for safe electoral operations and free and fair elections are threatened by the conduct of our politicians. We must find the resolve and the strength to step back and lift the nation out of its current precarious position. What is at stake is more than an election. It is the survival of our country. »