Reports reaching the desk of Africa Today News, New York has that the Northern Elders Forum has come hard on an elder statesman and leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, advising him to behave responsibly with his utterances.
The organisation pointed out that his comments while campaigning for the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, were irresponsible, condemnable, and inflammatory.
The NEF in a statement by its Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed which was obtained by Africa Today News, New York said that Nigerians with any influence over Adebanjo ‘should advise him to show respect for his age and all the advantages he enjoys from being a Nigerian.’
The statement reads, ‘The Northern Elders Forum has reviewed the preparations for the forthcoming elections, particularly in light of recent developments and its planned Northern General Assembly.’
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He further added; ‘The Forum took note of the comments of Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader of one of the Afenifere organisations. In his usual rantings, this time in campaigning for Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party, he said, among other inflammatory outbursts, that if Nigerians do not elect his candidate, it will be the end of Nigeria.
“This statement is, to say the least, irresponsible and condemnable. It is the worst thing that can be said in promoting a candidate, but that is the business of the candidate. We do not believe that Chief Adebanjo’s reckless outburst reflects the quality or essence of the Obi-Datti ticket.
‘The Forum advises people like Chief Adebanjo to attempt to behave more responsibly. These elections will not be won by threats and insults. Nigerians will not be scared from exercising their choices freely.
‘The unity and survival of Nigeria are not dependent on politicians who think they can intimidate citizens, or instigate actions that will subvert a credible election and a peaceful transition to the next administration.
‘The North is committed to supporting a credible election under peaceful conditions, and will support any candidate who emerges as leader through it. It appeals to leaders, elders, politicians and the authorities to resist inciting particularly young Nigerians who are more gullible and exposed to dangerous rhetoric.
‘If there are Nigerians with any influence over Chief Adebanjo, they should advise him to show respect for his age and all the advantages he enjoys from being a Nigerian.’