The Northern and Southern Elders’ Forum have met in Abuja and
expressed shock over what they described as the worsening state
of affairs in the country.
The groups also revealed their plan to come together to form what
would be called Nigerian Elders’ Forum.
Spokesperson of the Southern Elders Forum, Prof. Banji Akintoye
briefed newsmen after a three-and-half hour closed-door meeting
at the weekend in Abuja.
Akintoye said that the elders were worried “that things are not well
with our country.”
The Forum further lamented that the quality of leadership has
fallen so drastically, adding that the country has descended to a
level where people now kill one another.
Those in attendance at the meeting include: Prof. Akintoye, Dr.
Yime Sen, Yinka Odumakin, Dr. Afred Mulade, Sen. Kofo Bucknor-
Akerele, Sen. Chris Anyanwu, Francis Doukpola, Dr. Chike Dike,
Engr. Bello Suleiman, Sen. Ibrahim Y. Lame and Amba. Bala Sani.
Others include: Sam Nda-Isaiah, Sheik Idris Hayatudeen, Sen.
Saidu M. Dansadau, Alhaji Falalu Bello, Dr. Doyin Okupe, Yerima
Shettima, Dr. Charles Nwekeaku, G. G Darah, Barr. Abdullahi
Usman Toro, Prof. Rahila P. Gowon and Abdulrazaq Adamu
Akintoye said, “We are elders, we are not active politicians. Most
of us are not active politicians. We have come together because
we are worried about the condition of our country. Things are not
well with our country. A lot of things are happening in our country
that ordinarily should not happen.
“Ours is a land of promise, a land well-endowed by nature with a
lot of wealth but we are not using the wealth to enrich our people.
Instead, we are going down, down and down in terms of prosperity
“So, we have decided to work together – that is the most
important thing because the problems are many. There is a general
problem like the problems of ecology. The desert is moving South
upon us, upon our country and we are not doing anything about it.
“The ocean is moving in from the South, parts of Lagos already
under sea level and we are not doing anything about it. Parts of
the South-south too already under the sea and we are not doing
anything about it, and in the East, there is serious strange problem
of gully erosion. Nobody seems to know what to do about it.
“And then, the economy itself, we have become a country that is
longer productive because lack of productivity is the big problem
now of our country, and we have to do something about it. We also
have this huge problem of poor governance.
“It is no longer a question of a party, it is no longer a question of
one party is doing better than the other, you can see now clearly,
even though our political parties are rarely no longer political
parties, they are just neighbours or combination of people who
want to gather together and win elections and control the wealth of
the country which has come to me, as making yourself rich.
“That is what it has become, and the quality of leadership has
fallen so drastically that it is not possible to have any progress in
the hands of such poor leadership and then now we have reached
a point at which where we are actually killing one another. People
burning around killing their countrymen and destroying their
“So, we cannot go on like this, we elders of the country have
decided that we cannot go on like this. We must change actions to
change these things.