Tinubu suffers set back as Northern Elders Consultative Forum supports Atiku

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The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has suffered a huge setback following the recent announcement of the Christian Leaders in the North.

The Northern Elders Consultative Forum (NECF) unanimously on Friday formally adopted the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, for the 2023 election.

The decision was reached following the lingering controversy over the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the APC.

Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

In a press conference in Abuja on Friday, a former Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba, said Atiku was adopted after due consideration of the report of the technical criteria committee set up by the leaders.

Mr. Tinubu has lost Dogara, Achuba, a former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, and a former Minister of Water Resources, Mukhtar Shagari.

The decision was signed by former Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Mohammed Umara Kumalia, and a legal practitioner, Nunge Mele.

The group said all the presidential candidates were considered before the group supported the PDP due to its capacity, existing structure, and the evidence of national penetration, religious and ethnic balance, etc.

Though agreed that the APC and the PDP have the same strong-hold, the group said the APC "unfortunate self-inflicted divisive same-faith-ticket which cannot guarantee the desired peace, unity and cohesion in Nigeria, a decision that has been kicked against a huge population of Nigeria."

Achuba said, "The seven and a half years of the APC government has engendered widespread national perception of its inability to tackle security challenges and turn around the national economy.

"A further compounding albatross on its neck is the unfortunate self-inflicted divisive same-faith-ticket which cannot guarantee the desired peace, unity, and cohesion in Nigeria, a decision that has been kicked against by a huge population of Nigerians.

"The perception that the APC Presidential candidate has some health challenges makes people very uncomfortable. There is the fear that it may precipitate a situation where unelected surrogates will be running the government while the President left to attend to his health.

"On account of 1 – 4 above, the party is likely to face a backlash or may not escape a backlash that will lead to its defeat at the polls in 2023.

"From the existing structure of the Labour Party and even from the records of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as it stands for the 2023 elections, even if all their candidates win in the 2023 elections, can the party still produce the President? Very unlikely indeed.

"Assuming without conceding that they even produce t+ President, can they (LP) run the government? Not likely. The results of 5 and 6 above will be to form a minority Government with devastating effects on National political stability, further impelling the fragile health of our Country.

"Furthermore, there is no way a keen political observer will not see that there is a major disconnect between Peter Obi as a candidate and Labour, which is indicative of the fact that he is not running a collegial political structure in a diverse country like Nigeria.

"It is, however, respectively observed that LP is a party to be watched in the future only if it sustains the tempo and maintains the mass movement while at the same time building up its structures towards subsequent elections.

“The NNPP on the other hand has similar characteristics with the LP and there is no need repeating same except that ~ NNPP appears to be building a party for the future with – little or no impact in the 2023 elections.”

A local paper, Punch News, had earlier reported that a former Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, had endorsed the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed.

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