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NORTHERN LEADERS SHOULD QUIT POLITICS, SAYS FORMER PERM SEC

By NBF News
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Former permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed has said it was high time the acclaimed northern political leaders stepped aside for the younger generation to take over.

Ahmed, who spoke yesterday as guest speaker at the Kaduna State council of Nigeria Union of Journalist's (NUJ) Chairman's rountable said this was because the northern political leaders had had the better days of their inroad into politics over the years.

He also tonguelashed the Lemu-led presidential panel, saying it would rather cause another round of violence because the Federal Government might not be able to compensate every victim of the crisis.

Also speaking on the occasion, the former governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi admitted that the past National Assembly made a mistake by throwing away Justice Uwais' report, which recommended a bill to establish electoral offences tribunal that would have handled the 2011 post-elections violence.

'All of us should accept that we made a mistake, some of us observed that a bill to establish the electoral offences tribunal was thrown away. The delay in announcing elections results by Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) was also anotherĀ  factor, which led to post elections violence.

'Some of us made greatest efforts to make sure it was not thrown away because it requires constitutional amendment, yet, it was thrown away. If that was in place, then dealing with elections related offences and crimes could be handled judiciously and if people know that for either committing offences, violent or non violent they will be punished, then they can think twice before committing such an offence.

Thereby improving the electoral process and also preventing fraud, either election violence or post election violence as the case may be. We also went for the April 2011 election with divisive mindset,' Makarfi said.

He, however, stressed the need for Nigerians to begin to elect leaders based on issue rather than ethno-religious sentiment at the detriment of the overall development of the nation, just as he called for sanity in the electoral process.

Also speaking, the Chairman on the occasion, Hamman Bachama of Adamawa State, Asaph Zadok blamed the frequent crisis in the country on the loss of family values, adding that until something was done in that direction, the crisis would not stop.

The royal father also decried the dearth of patriotism in the country, most especially among the youths, saying the prevailing situation had shown that revolution was a reality in the country and that was why those at the helm of affair should do something fast.