Minna — The Chairman of Northern Leaders and Stakeholders Assembly (NLSA), Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, yesterday led members of the Steering Committee to Minna, to seek the support of former military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babaginda.
On the entourage of the chairman were former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na'aba, two former ministers of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Muhammad and Mohammed Abba Gana; former Minister of Commerce Alhaji Mustapha Bello, as well as Senator Joseph Waku.
Others were two former ministers of Women Affairs, Hajiya Mayam Inna Ciroma and Hajiya Zainab Maina; former Minister of National Planning Dr Mohammed Shata, former Governor of Niger State Dr Muazu Babaginda Aliyu.
In his address, Alhaji Yakasai said the organization was established in February 10, 2018 as a direct response to the dire need to promote the cultural and political unity among all northerners and by extension Nigeria.
He said the group was political but not partisan, explaining, "The door of the assembly is open to all northerners irrespective of their ethnicity, differences in religious and political beliefs or sectional backgrounds."
He said although the idea to form the body came months to 2019 general elections, "We are aiming far beyond this year's electioneering." He said the body was interested in coming up with an agenda that would form the basis for its support for anybody aspiring for an elective office at any level of governance.
He added that the body intended to convene a northern political summit to address the disquiet, distrust and loss of confidence of Nigerians against the political class which he said was creating a serious threat to the survival of democracy.
Responding, General Babaginda commended the body for its vision of a united and prosperous Nigeria, and promised to support the initiative. The former military president also accepted to be one of the patrons of the body.