Ahead of the 2023 general election, the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has faulted the zoning of Nigeria’s presidency, saying it negates the standard norms of democracy.

The NEF Convener, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, said this during a meeting with the Coalition of Northern Groups in Zaria, Kaduna State. For him, political parties should allow their members freely vote for candidates of their choice.

He said the power-sharing deal between the northern and southern regions of Nigeria is dead and buried, insisting that candidates should be allowed to contest elections on the basis of merit and their competence.

According to him, merit should be the yardstick to get the country’s next president, arguing that the position should be open to standard norms of the democratic process.

Professor Abdullahi explained that he presided over the selection of the northern presidential consensus aspirants – which involved former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State – in his personal capacity and not on behalf of Northern Elders Forum.