A former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, has asked Nigerians to choose a leader with capacity irrespective of where he or she comes from.
The leader, he said, can hail from any part of Nigeria as long as he can bring succour to Nigerians.
He made the statement in Abuja while receiving members of an All Progressives Congress (APC) pressure group, Frontier for Equality Leadership and Good Governance, on Thursday in Abuja.
The group had visited the former governor to ask that he contests for the position of APC National Chairman.
While he asked Nigerians to discard ethnicity and religion when choosing the next president, he said competence should be the main focus of Nigerians in making a choice.
“Unless we believe in ourselves as a nation, and believe all of us are equal and believe that a good leader will emerge from any part of the country, regardless of religion, tribe or where he comes from, we will not succeed in getting the country we dearly love.
“We must put our differences aside and look for leaders from anywhere.
“If the man that will bring succour to Nigeria is coming from a mountain in Ogoja (Cross River), we should go and look for him. If it is in the extreme end of Adamawa, we should go and look for him. If he is coming from the end of Anambra, we should go and look for him. We must do soul-searching and look for a leader,” Mr Sheriff said.
The former governor also warned Nigerians against criticising their leaders and asked that prayers be made for them.
“When I see people criticise leaders on what they know nothing about, I pray for them because you will only know the challenges of this country when you are saddled with responsibility. When we have leaders we should pray for them that God will intervene, we should not curse our leaders.
“If you must blame any leader you must look at the followers, what have we done? To help our leaders to be strong – and we have to do soul searching.
“Everyday we wake up with a different challenge and these challenges are not only for our leaders, we must understand that, it is for all of us,” he said.