Northern leaders tell Saraki that they are not out to get a consensus presidential candidate for the north.
The group disclosed this when it paid a courtesy visit to Senate President Bukola Saraki on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.
The NLSA chairman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai told Saraki that the Nigerian masses have lost confidence in the political class to effectively lead the country -- a situation, he said, would affect the northern region of the country.
“All across Nigeria there is a palpable disquiet, distrust and loss of confidence of the mass populace on the nation’s political class, a situation that is both creating a serious threat to the survival of democracy in the country and a nationwide loss of confidence on northerners to effectively direct the affairs of this country, we see it as a matter of urgency that northerners of good standing come together to arrest the drift, recapture national power, redeem the battered image of the northern political class and rebuild confidence in our ability to effectually pilot our democracy,” Yakasai said.
He revealed plans to hold a northern political summit to address some of these concerns.
The group noted that they have no consensus presidential candidate from the region for the 2019 election.
“Contrary to reports in some media, this body was not created to find a consensus presidential candidate for the north for the forthcoming presidential election nor for upcoming elections. The organization was created to promote unity and well-being of the people and together with other patriotic Nigerians to evolve a national blueprint that will address various problems confronting our nation."
In his remarks, Saraki urged northern leaders to join hands with the Federal Government in finding lasting solution to the incessant killings taking place in the country.
Saraki noted that peace and unity is essential to achieve overall development of the country, while commending the group for rising up to contribute their quota in realizing a peaceful and prosperous country.
"By this time, as elders, you ought to be resting, but the patriotism in you brought you out. You said you are political but non-partisan, we are all political and we need to get Nigeria in the right direction,” the Senate President said.
"Being leaders, this is the time to find lasting solutions. This is not the time for blame. This is the time for us to bring peace and regional dialogue. No society worth its salt will keep quiet in the face of these killings.
"Something somewhere is wrong. We need to meet to bring about peaceful coexistence and unity in this country. Part of the solution is to know that something is wrong.
"I am happy that you are here and we will speak truth about the problems and to conduct ourselves on how to encourage dialogue and ensure that the right thing is done," he said.
Members of the delegation included a former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, former Minister of Defence, Haliru Ballo Mohammed, former Governor of Niger state, Babangida Aliyu, former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, former FCT ministers, Bala Mohammed and Abba Gana, former Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Inna Ciroma, Dr. Umar Ardo, Hajia Zainab Maina, Dr. Mamman Shata and Senator Joseph Waku, among others.