Why we cannot back Atiku, by northern youths


Youths under the aegis of the New Northern Initiative for Growth have warned the Arewa Consultative Forum to desist from endorsing any presidential candidates for the North.

They were reacting to the alleged adoption of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar by the ACF as its sole candidate.

Addressing journalists on Tuesday in Bauchi, the National President of the Initiative, Lawal Sahab, said that supporting Atiku based on sentiments would put the region out of political circulation.

They claimed the so-called northern leaders endorsing the PDP candidate are doing so out of desperation to retain power.

He challenged the so-called leaders to tell Nigerians what Atiku has ever done in the interest of the well-being of the region and its people.

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According to him: “We wish to use this opportunity to reply to suggestions making the rounds that Atiku Abubakar is behind recent moves by some elements of the Arewa Consultative Forum and Northern Elders Forum 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.

“By every reasonable assessment, Atiku has never had any concern for the North beyond exploiting the region’s resources, its goodwill for his political capital.

“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.

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“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 northerner into believing that lies that he is a true northerner with good intentions for the region whereas the opposite is the case.

“The capital-minded northern elders are so blinded by their acquisitive tendencies around ripping the nation with Atiku’s main agenda for privatizing 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.”

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