From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, anti-Atiku Abubakar groups North 4 North Support Group and South West Development Frontiers (SWDF) has called on the former Vice President, to relax his ambition and support the South East region to take up the mantle of leadership.
The groups’ Coordinator, Mohammed Garba, and National Secretary, Abubakar Sanni, in a statement, noted that some of their members protested in Adamawa, Kaduna, Plateau, Benue and Kaduna States to drive home their request.
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“We for our part, have promoted the candidature of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for years, but we humbly call on the former vice president to do us a good turn in return for the many good turns we have done for him,” he said.
“We have sacrificed a lot pushing for the presidency of Atiku Abubakar all these years, even though we have been abandoned by him after each election cycle, it is time for him to project national interest outside of his need to become president.
“At almost 80years, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar does not have enough in the tank to put in the high level of physical and mental effort required to fix Nigeria.
“We must give all parts of Nigeria a chance to become president of the country, or we might slide dangerously into the narratives of enemies of the state who will have a ready recruitment pool from among disgruntled groups.
“Only one region in Nigeria has not been given a chance to take the presidency of Nigeria and it is only fair that 2023 almost a quarter of a century into our current democratic system the South East is reminded that they just as Nigerian as the rest of us.
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“Fairness and equity is the major ingredient for the sustainability of any society as history have clearly shown and Nigeria can be no exception to this clear and present rule of nation-building; when a society begins to deviate from the principle of fairness and equity, it declines and slides down the rabbit hole of oblivion.
“The presidency cannot also afford to go to an older candidate, considering the enormity of the demands of the job in the 21st century, where there are series of factors playing into a tectonic shift in economic centres of gravity, coupled with the many challenges confronting Nigeria that requires a proactive person with energy to cope with the rigours of office.
“It is the unanimous position of Nigerians, as deduced from the sampling of opinions through our consultations on the subject matter thus far, that the presidency should go to a younger candidate in tune with the realities within which we exist in today’s world and capable of making decisions at the pace required therefrom.
“The southeast deserves the presidency of Nigeria come 2023, and we must narrow down our focus to searching for the best candidate from the region, rather than allowing the public discourse space to be crowded by a cacophony of distractions that will end up robbing us of the very best of us.
“No doubt politics is important as development can only take place in an atmosphere of peace, confidence and sense of belonging in the system.
“The only way forward for Nigeria is forward and we cannot afford to go back to the old ways of choosing presidents from certain parts of the country, to the exclusion of others.
“As a group based in the north, it is the dream of the founding fathers for the country to be united. We are, in the spirit of that unity, reaching out to our brothers and sisters in the south and assuring them of our commitment to stand side by side with them to achieve this goal in the interest of Nigeria’s future.”