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Northern youths, ACF differ on Atiku as Arewa preferred candidate

By Rauf Oyewole, Bauchi
19 October 2022   |   2:43 am
New Northern Initiative for Growth (NNIG), a group of youths from the North, has disagreed with the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) over the reported adoption of the Peoples Democratic Party

[FILES] Atiku. Photo/Facebook/Atiku Abubakar

New Northern Initiative for Growth (NNIG), a group of youths from the North, has disagreed with the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) over the reported adoption of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar, as the North’s preferred contender for the 2023 polls.

The political pressure group, while addressing journalists in Bauchi, yesterday, warned the ACF against endorsing any candidate, as doing so might jeopardise the interest of the region.

National President of NNIG, Lawal Sahabi, in his speech read by the Bauchi State Chairman, Alkasim Abdulkadir, said: “We wish to use this opportunity to reply to suggestions making the rounds that Atiku Abubakar is behind recent moves by some elements of ACF and Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to endorse him as the single candidate of the region for the 2023 presidency.

“We use the 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 also challenge them to explain what criteria they used to arrive at Atiku as a consensus candidate for the North and to define his contributions to the growth of the region that qualifies him as such.”

He challenged ACF and NEF to prove they are true and well-meaning elders of the North by telling the people what Atiku had done in the interest of the region and its people.

According to him, by every reasonable assessment, Atiku has never had any concern for the North beyond exploiting the region’s resources and its goodwill for his personal political capital.

He said: “Atiku, who has risen on the goodwill of the Northerners, can today not boast of any development project he has ever influenced personally or through the high offices he has held, courtesy of the North.”

“It is in his blind desperation to secure the presidency that Atiku is sponsoring capitalist Northern leaders, with no record of achieving anything for the region, to manipulate the conscience of the Northerners into believing the lies that he is a true Northerner with good intention for the region, whereas the opposite is the case,” Sahabi added.

He said further that supporting Atiku as the sole Northern candidate on the basis of sentiments would put the region out of political circulation permanently, which is what his endorsers, “out of desperate greed for self-perpetuation,” are opting for.

“The capitalist-minded Northern elders are so blinded by their acquisitive tendencies around ripping the nation with Atiku’s main agenda for privatising major public assets.

“It is important for the people of the North to refuse to be drawn into the lost battle of pitching all its eggs in one basket, especially since Atiku’s antecedents of non-performance throughout his tenure as vice president have made him unreliable and a major risk for the North to take,” he said.

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