The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has asked Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to avoid being pitched against President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently on medical leave.
It also called on Nigerians to cooperate fully with Osinbajo to sustain a united, focused and committed administration in the absence of Buhari.
In a communiqué issued after its two-day emergency meeting in Kano on Thursday, the forum advised Osinbajo to be wary of “mischievous elements” who intend to take advantage of the absence of Buhari to achieve “dubious political goals”.
Ango Abdullahi, leader of the forum, and Paul Unongo, deputy leader, who signed the communique, said the north is conscious of its obligations and rights and will not hesitate to discharge and defend them without reservations.
They warned those seeking undeserved political advantage to desist from such moves, and commended Buhari for respecting the constitution by transferring power to Osinbajo when it became necessary for him to travel to seek medical treatment.
“The forum expresses its full support for Acting President Osinbajo and urges him to exercise responsibility, as he did in the past, with commitment, sensitivity and respect for the constitution,” the communique read.
“We urge him to ignore mischief which seeks to pitch him against the president or the Nigerian people whose mandates they both exercise.”
They also commended Buhari for tackling the Boko Haram insurgency, especially in the north-east.
“Buhari has confronted the issue that has been disturbing us by tackling the insurgency which had caused a lot of havoc in the region especially the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa,” the communique read.
NEF commended Senate President Bukola Saraki and speaker, house of representatives, Yakubu Dogara for providing the “necessary leadership to stabilise the polity”.