Some regional groups: Northern Alternative Forum (NAF), South South Professionals (SSP) and Oduduwa Democratic Group (ODG), known as “Regional Professionals”, yesterday, said Nigerians should count them out of the purported endorsement of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, by some regional leaders.
Leaders of NAF, SSP and ODG, who called themselves regional and professional groups from the six geo-political zones, made their position known after a meeting in Abuja.
They were responding to Atiku’s endorsement by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Ohaneze Ndigbo, Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Pan Niger Delta Forum (PNDF) and Nigeria Leaders and Elders Forum (NLEF).
In a statement signed by Mallam Gidado Ibrahim, Dr. Tunji Yekini, Hon. Arinze Goodwill and Mr. Mbeke Itah, the “Regional Professionals” described Atiku’s endorsement by who they called “ethnic leaders” as a charade, saying the move did not reflect the true position of Nigerians in the six geo-political zones. The groups disowned the endorsement of Atiku, saying the grassroots were with the candidate of the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We urge our very respected elders to thread with caution so as not to return the country to wrong hands like what we saw in the 16 years of PDP misrule,” the Regional Professionals said.
“We want Nigerians to be aware that we are not part of the political mess called endorsement by these so called leaders from the regions. We are solidly behind President Buhari’s re-election come February 16, 2019. The so called endorsement of Atiku by some socio-cultural groups cannot stand.
“These are the same people who have not been in contact with the people at the grassroots. They are out for what they can grab before the February 16, 2019, general elections. Their opinion can’t stand for the simple fact that our people are with President Muhammadu Buhari because of his achievements,” the regional professionals said. They further said they remained with Buhari because he was tackling corruption and other ills.
“There is a revolutionary approach to tax revenue. This is now yielding a lot of gains. Customs and some other agencies like JAMB have been remitting a lot of money and the common man is feeling the impact.
“We urge Nigerians to look beyond the ordinary campaign gimmicks on the streets and drum support for Muhammadu Buhari as the only man to provide lasting solution to our myriad of problems,” they added.