By Yemi Sunday
Members of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and Northern Elders have been berated for their alleged moves to endorse the Presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic party (PDP), former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar for the 2023 presidency.
A political pressure group, the ‘New Northern Initiative for Growth’ told journalists on Tuesday at the NUJ Press Center, Bauchi, said that Atiku Abubakar is not the preferred candidate of the North, hence supporting him on the basis of sentiments will put the region in Jeopardy.
The Bauchi State Coordinator of the group, Alkasim Abdulkadir who spoke on behalf of the President General, Lawal Sahabi, stated that Atiku, who has risen on the goodwill of the Northerners, cannot boast of any project he has executed or influence while in office as former Vice President of the country.
According to him: “We are using this opportunity to ask the so called elders to explain to Northerners where they derived their mandate to impose a single candidate on the entire region.We are also challenging them to explain what criteria they used to arrive at Atiku as candidate for the North. They should define how his contributions to the growth of the region qualified him to becoming the candidate for the North.
“They should prove that they are truly leaders the region by telling the people what Atiku has ever done in the interest of the region and the country at large.By every reasonable assessment. Atiku has never had any concern for the North rather, he has exploited the region’s resources.”
Lawal Sahabi further said that, “It is his blind desperation to secure the Presidency at all cost that Atiku is sponsoring capitalist Northern leaders with no record of achieving anything for the region in order to manipulate Northerners to believe the lie that he is a true Northerner with good intentions whereas the opposite is the case.
“The Capitalist minded Northern elders are so blinded by their acquisitive tendencies around ripping the Nation with Atiku’s main agenda of privatizing major public assets.
“It is important for the people of the North to refuse to be drawn into the lost battle by putting all its eggs in one basket, especially knowing Atiku’s antecedents of non-performance during his tenure as Vice President which have made him unreliable. This is a major risk for the North to take.”