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Boost for Atiku as Dogara, aggrieved APC leaders endorse him for 2023

The aggrieved APC leaders said they settled for Atiku after thorough evaluation of the chances of all the presidential candidates.

PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar visits Shehu of Borno. [Twitter:Atiku]

The group said it endorsed Atiku following a careful evaluation of the prevailing situation in the country, which prompted the Northern Christian leaders to work with their Muslim counterparts in the North, to adopt one of the presidential candidates in a bid to defeat the same-faith presidential ticket of the APC next year.

This comes barely a week after the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, who had been a member of the group, announced a similar endorsement for the Labour Party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed.

Although Lawal had claimed that Obi was endorsed after a painstaking review and analysis of the alternative candidates, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and other members of the group distanced themselves from the decision, insisting that they were yet to conclude consultations and that their position will be made public.

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Meanwhile, announcing their position at a widely attended event in Abuja on Friday, December 2, 2022, a former Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba, who read the report of the technical criteria committee set up by the leaders, said Atiku was adopted after due consideration of the report of the technical criteria committee put together by the leaders.

The Northern Leaders at the meeting included Dogara, former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, Former Minister for Water Resources, Barrister Mukhtar Shagari, among several others who unanimously adopted the report.

The report was signed by its chairman and former Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Mohammed Umara Kumaila and a legal practitioner, Nunge Mele (SAN).

Achuba said the committee evaluated Atiku, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of APC, candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party(NNPP).

The former Kogi deputy governor said the leaders considered parameters such as existing party structures, capacity of the candidates, evidence of penetration, religious and ethnic balance among others to arrive at the decision.

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Achuba said it was observed that the APC and PDP are almost at par in terms of political structure, but the compounding albatross on the neck of APC 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.”

Achuba's word: “The seven and a half years of the APC government has engendered wide spread 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 attending 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.

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“From the existing structure of the Labour Party and even from the records of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as it stands for 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 effect 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.

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