Son of the First Republic Prime Minister of Nigeria, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Dr. Abdujelil Tafawa Balewa has told the leader of the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi and the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) to stop claiming to be speaking for the North in their quest for a Northern President.
According to him, the much-touted quest for power shift remains personal opinions of the leaders, which he said do not represent the views of generality of the north.
Dr. Tafawa Balewa, who spoke to newsmen on Wednesday, said that each group within the polity was free to express its views, adding, however, that the views remain personal opinions.
He said that he would support a situation whereby President Goodluck Jonathan continues in office for a second term in 2015.
He said: “Constitutionally, President Goodluck Jonathan has every right as a Nigerian citizen to run for a second term. You can count on me, I will vote for him. There has never been and even before independence, until now, a president that has done so well and seen within our society that women who constitute about half of the population are now being moved up in our ministries and several embassies all over the world.
The son of the late Northern icon also stated that people of the north are politically enlightened to know where to cast their votes without the pressure from groups and individuals.
“Democracy is about education. If you are able to convince the citizenry of what it is that you are offering. If they agree with you, they would vote for you. If they see what it is that you are doing and it is the right thing for their children and for the future generation, they will vote for you,” he said.
Though he said there was nothing wrong in the agitation by different groups, he said that the time has ome for Nigeria to move from primordial dichotomies and unite the country behind candidates who could move the contry forward.
He further said: “In a democracy, everyone has a right to express himself. It is incumbent on whoever wants to speak for a political party, a regional party to say what it is that they want. So, I see nothing wrong with that.
“Northerners are more politically savvy than you may think. You can imagine cattle herders coming from Maiduguri or Kano coming to the South, they will have their radios plastered to their ears, listening to BBC. They know what is going on around the world and are more current than you think and unlike here in the South where people are so immersed in different other things, commerce and so on, the northern citizen is very politically savvy and they need to be convinced of what your intentions are.”
He further stated that he was convinced looking at the situation on ground that the Jonathan government has performed well.