The Coalition of Northern Elders For Peace and National Unity, CNEFPNU, has called out Shehu Mahdi over a provocative video that has gone viral on the social media, saying it is capable of ingniting ethno-religious tension.
CNEFPNU also accused Mahdi of hate speech laced with a lot of tribal and religious slur aimed at pitching Christians against Muslims.
The group called on the relevant security agencies to arrest and prosecute Mahdi to serve as deterrence to others, who may contemplate such infamous path in the future.
In a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Prof Abdulkadir Mohammed Gummi, and National Secretary, Hajiya Hadiza M. Gwazo, the Nothern Elder Group, urged Northern voters to disregard Mahdi’s call and vote for presidential candidates of their choice, devoid of ethnic, religious, or political consideration.
Part of the statement read: ”Mahdi’s charge is laced with a lot of tribal and religious slur aimed at causing disaffection between Northerners and Southers, Northerners against Igbos and Northerners against South east in general.
“As responsible Northern elders, we view the video by Shehu Mahdi, as a deliberate attempt to instigate ethno-religious tension in the country, hence our call on relevant security agencies to take him in immediately for questioning.
“We further enjoin our people to disregard the provocative comments made by Mahdi, even as we urge them to vote for presidential candidates of their choice, devoid of ethnic, religious, or political consideration”.
However, the Northern Group insisted that Peter Obi is a statesman and Pan-Nigerian.
“May we also clarify that, having followed Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, for a long time now, and we can say, without equivocation, that he is a detribalised, and patriotic Nigerian, who has the interest of the ordinary people at heart”, the statement read in part.
“The Peter Obi campaign is broad-based and all-inclusive. His track record of inclusivity is not in doubt. It is callous for anyone to accuse Peter Obi of running to represent the interest of Biafra. Peter Obi is running to represent the interest of all Nigerians”.