The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has debunked media reports that it has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term.
Chairman of the forum, Paul Unongo, was quoted in an interview over the weekend as saying that President Buhari had been adopted as the candidate of the North in the 2019 presidential election.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, in Abuja by the forum’s Director of Logistic, Captain Bashir Sodangi, said all the views expressed by Unongo in the said interview represented his personal opinion and not that of NEF.
The statement noted that the forum which had not met since September 2017, had never discussed the politics of 2019 not to talk of adopting a candidate.
“It follows therefore that NEF has at no time recently met, discussed or adopted a common candidate for the 2019 presidency”, he said.
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) had previously dismissed statement from the Chairman of the NEF, suggesting that the northern region had endorsed Buhari as sole candidate for the 2019 presidency.
Alhaji Shettima Yerima, leader of the AYCF, in a statement on Sunday, said Unongo was speaking for himself as usual and neither for the Northern Elders Forum, nor for the whole north.
The AYCF leader said Unongo lacks the requisite authority to speak for the north on any matter as his antecedents are full of inconsistency and lack of decorum.
“It is quite unthinkable that a person with such little grasp of diplomacy should think himself as a worthy successor to the respectable chairmanship of the NEF vacated by the late Danmasanin Kano.
“We all know that Danmasani was the convener of the NEF and a noble leader that never steered the group in the path of partisanship.”