2023: Catholics, Northern elders ask electorates to vote capable candidates

As the campaigns towards the 2023 general elections kick off today, September 28, citizens of the country have been advised to vote for candidates who are physically and mentally capable to lead them.

This call was made by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and the Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria (CLCN). The religious group asked Nigerians to consider factors such as the health status and age of the candidates they want to vote for and they must shun sentiments while voting.

In an interview with Channels Television, the Spokesman of NEF, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said, “At this stage, our options are open. We will not vote on narrow prisms like where you (candidates) come from.

“I can speak for the Northern Elders’ Forum. We’ve not said we will only support a northern candidate; what we said is we will defend the rights of northerners to compete freely and equally with others; we will support a northerner if we think he is the best, and we will not go to apologise for that at all.

“We will support a southerner if we believe he will do justice to the interest of the north and the interest of other parts of the country. What is important for us is that we are looking for the best that is available.”

In addition, he said that there is a conscious effort to ensure that the Northerners vote for the right candidate. He also laid emphasis on the importance of the group and how they influence who the people vote for.

He insisted that the group wields sufficient influence over the people of northern Nigeria and would exercise its responsibility of endorsing the best candidate very seriously.

He said, “We are not supporting anybody, we are going to support the best candidate that represents the best.

“We will put all those candidates through a rigorous process if they are willing and they had better be willing because, believe me, we carry the responsibility on our shoulders to advise a lot of people in the north where to go and we will exercise that responsibility very seriously.”

On the other hand, CLCN asked Nigerians to vote wisely. More so, the people should go through the manifestoes of the presidential candidates and know what they want to offer the people before voting for them.

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