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2023 Election: We’ve not picked any particular Presidential Candidate -Arewa leaders

The Arewa Joint Committee has said its recent interaction with presidential candidates was not meant to endorse a particular candidate for the 2023 election.


Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Arewa Consultative Forum, Jamiyyar Matan Arewa, Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, Arewa Research Development Project and Arewa House (Centre for Historical Development and Research) were the constituent bodies of the committee. which subsequently invited the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Social Democratic Party (SDP)’s Adewole Adebayo; and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.


Others invited were Kola Abiola of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP);Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Atiku Abubakar, and New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP)’s Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.


But controversy was stirred when Kwankwaso failed to show up at the event, alleging that Arewa Joint Committee had picked a preferred candidate,  a reason, he explained, was why he kept away.


In return, the committee flayed the claim, stressing that the interaction objection was not to endorse any candidate.


At a media briefing in Kaduna, chairman of the committee and secretary of Arewa Consultative Forum, Mallam Murtala Aliyu, explained that the objective of the interaction was to establish the candidates’ commitment to addressing the challenges confronting the region.


His words: “We plan to extract and publish these commitments so that Nigerians may measure and evaluate candidates against them. Our goal is to allow citizens to match candidates against their commitments to matters that are central to the interests of the North.”


Meanwhile, Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi and Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu have upped their bid to win most votes from the northern part of the country.


Tinubu and Obi have presented their development plans for the country before the northern leaders that invited them to share their visions for the country and the region even as Atiku Abubakar dished out his during a PDP rally in Kaduna.


At the interaction with northern elders at Arewa House, academics, civil society and youth bodies, Tinubu insisted that he would ensure Nigeria remains an indivisible entity, stressing that he would transform the country as he did when he served as Lagos State governor (1999-2007).


According to him, Nigeria is richly blessed with resources that should  be harnessed for greater economic development.


Taking his own turn, Mr Peter Obi told the northern leaders that Nigeria presently qualifies to be referred to as a failed state, explaining that he would work to restore the country’s greatness which had been undermined by poor governance over the years.


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