The Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Sule-led Northern Elders’ Forum, and the Arewa Consultative Forum, have endorsed the All Progressives Congress’ Presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and his running mate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for the February election.
The NEF and the ACF in separate statements in Kaduna on Wednesday said that they would ask all northerners and indeed Nigerians to support Buhari because he was a better candidate than President Jonathan Goodluck, the candidate of the People Democratic Party in the February 14, presidential election.
According to a communique signed by the ACF National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim, the Forum noted that it was part of its policy to support northerner in any presidential election.
However, the NEF, led by a former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie, said the group would back the Buhari/Osinbajo for the Presidency because “Buhari is a better candidate, compared with President Goodluck Jonathan in moving the nation forward.”
The elders, however, warned against any attempt to form an interim government, as being canvassed by some people in the country. They said that any design to disenfranchise Nigerians in the next month’s elections would be rejected.
While addressing journalists in Kaduna on Wednesday, the Secretary of the NEF and former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, appealed to Nigerians to support the Buhari/Osinbajo Presidency.
He said a vote for Buhari/Osinbajo would end the fear, impunity and destitution characterised by the Jonathan administration in the country.
Abdullahi said, “Our endorsement of Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in the same manner all Nigerians from all parts of the country are supporting his candidature, is based on our belief that he and his running mate, Prof.Yemi Osinbajo, have the integrity, commitment and experience to resolve our security problems, fight corruption and fix our economy.”
Speaking further, the former vice chancellor said they were aware of the issue of an Interim National Government being muted in some quarters. He warned that “such illegal arrangement” should not be allowed to truncate the February elections.
Also, declaring the ACF support for Buhari in a communique signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim, after its meeting in Kaduna, the Forum warned against the alleged plan by the Federal Government to disenfranchise some Nigerians in the next election.
The ACF expressed concern over the continued insecurity in the country, particularly, in the North-East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
The forum commended the gallantry of the Nigerian military for repelling attack of the Islamic insurgents on Biu, in Borno State.
The Northern body reiterated its call on the Federal Government to step up offensive on the Boko Haram sect and ensure that all internally displaced persons were allowed to vote.
Punch, January 15, 2015
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