LEADER of the self-proclaimed Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) Abdulazeez Suleiman appears to have backed down from his recent hardline stance and declared that come 2023 Nigeria’s president should come from either the south-south or southeast geopolitical zones.
Seen as a body created by politicians to sow discord among Nigerians, the CNG that has poisoning the atmosphere across the country lately. Last month, it gave the federal government a 30 day ultimatum to reverse its plans to scrap the controversial Ruga settlement programme that involved the establishment of cattle colonies in all o9f Nigeria’s 36 states.
This was in response to a decision by the federal government to abandon the programme in the midst of fierce opposition to it from across the country as ill-thought and unworkable. However, the hitherto unknown CNG said if found the suspension of the programme unacceptable and insisted that it wants to see the federal government force state governors to hand over their land to Fulani cattle herdsmen.
Upping the ante further, the CNG said it would hold President Muhammadu Buhari responsible should any Fulani herdsmen fall victim to attacks in the southern part of the country following his cancellation of the Ruga policy. Despite its inflammatory statements, no CNG leader has been questioned by the authorities or charged with incitement.
In what appears to be a total U-turn, the CNG has now called on President Buhari to allow the presidency to return to southern Nigeria come 2023 since northern leaders, including himself have failed their people. Mr Suleiman added that it is of no benefit to the north to continue holding on to power in 2023.
He also pointed out that the political alliance between the north and the southwest is not working, adding that the north was indeed very angry with President Buhari’s government because they have not benefitted anything from him. Me Sulaiman said: “What is important at this point is for the northern political leadership to renegotiate its current alliance with the southwest which has never been north’s political ally.
“The alliance is already turning out to be unhealthy. We are already calling on the northern elders and leaders to review the region’s position by realigning with our traditional political friends which are the southeast and south-south.
“This has become necessary with the way the southwest is going about the current friendship by being more openly antagonistic to northern interests even while they are the major beneficiaries of the Buhari administration. Look at the way the entire Yoruba traditional, cultural, religious and political leadership has come out strongly in support of Sowore’s call for insurrection just because he is their son, not minding that he categorically declared that with the takeoff of the protests, all the nation’s security organisation would cease to exist which is certainly scary.”