Atiku is North’s candidate, says ACF chieftain

fdd atiku
fdd atiku

A chieftain of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Muhammad Yakubu, has said that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, is the endorsed candidate of the north for Saturday’s presidential election.

The PUNCH reports that the ACF through its Secretary-General, Murtala Aliyu, had, in a statement on Sunday, urged northerners and Nigerians to vote the candidate of their choice in the Saturday election.

The ACF had urged Northern voters to look out for a presidential candidate with clear and objective party manifestos and the character and track records of the candidates.

However, while addressing a press conference at the 11A Sokoto road Secretariat of the ACF in Kaduna on Monday, Yakubu, who is the National Assistant Auditor of the Forum, said from recent statements by notable northern elders such as Alhaji Zango Daura, Prof. Ango Abdullahi among others, the region had settled for Atiku for the poll.

The ACF chieftain, who is also the Convener, Atiku/Okowa Patriots, said the region was supporting Atiku not because he was a northerner but because he had the capacity and experience to take the country to the promised land.

He said, “The ACF came to be as a result of certain happenings in the country. The emergence of the ACF is to protect the northern interest and so far, so good, as we head to the polls in a couple of days, our elders, leaders in the likes of Alhaji Sani Zango Daura (the Danmasanin Daura), Prof. Ango Abdullahi, have given us a direction. Atiku is the candidate of the north and that is the direction we are going to follow.

“And that’s the candidate majority of northerners are going to vote for. So, this is one of the reasons that I called for the press conference and if there are other issues you guys want clarification, I am ready to give you answers. I am also the National Convener of Atiku/Okowa Patriots.”


Fielding questions on the  reports yesterday by the ACF secretary-general that the Forum backed rotational presidency, Yakubu said, “It’s not true. That’s why I am holding this press conference. At no time did the ACF met to have taken that kind of decision. That kind of decision can either come from the National Executive Council or the National Working Committee. So, since none of these bodies had met, how would that kind of decision emerge. Either the press is misrepresenting the secretary-general or some […] people had concocted some stories.”

On whether the ACF is in support of his position, he said, “Of course, the ACF is established to protect the interest of the north and where is Atiku from? And let me give you a background story. If you have been following the ACF history, you will discover that at each point in time that the county is at crossroads, the ACF and the north usually come to stabilise the country.

“The north supported Obasanjo and he won; the north supported former President Goodluck Jonathan and Jonathan won. Each time the north supports anybody, not because that person is from the north. The north usually considers capacity and competence and integrity. These are the factors the north used to consider.

“The north is supporting Atiku not because Atiku is from the north. No, it’s because at this point in time, among the candidates we have now, it’s Atiku that has the capacity, the competence and the integrity and the reach out across the country.”