Some regional and professional groups from the six geo-political zones have dissociated themselves from the recent endorsement of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, by leaders of socio-cultural groups in the country.
Rising from a meeting in Abuja, the groups, Northern Alternative Forum (NAF), South South Professionals (SSP) and Oduduwa Democratic Group (ODG) said Nigerians should count them out of the purported endorsement.
According to them, the charade called endorsement by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Ohaneze Ndigbo, Middle Belt Forum, the Pan Niger Delta Forum and Nigeria Leaders and Elders Forum does not reflect the true position of Nigerians in the six geo-political zones of the country.
The groups stated this in a statement signed Mallam Gidado Ibrahim, Dr Tunji Yekini, Hon Arinze Goodwill and Mr Mbeke Itah.
In the statement issued after the meeting, the groups disowned the endorsement of Atiku, saying the grassroots are with the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari.
They noted: After reviewing the outcome of the meeting held recently by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and other ethnic groups in the country, we have come to the conclusion that shopping for a credible president other than President Muhammad Buhari will only come to a dead end.
“Apart from acceptability and credibility, the opposition cannot boast of a political figure with the will-power to govern Nigeria with its current complexities. The search in PDP is quite herculean for them and in the APC the case is not different. We urge our very respected elders to thread with caution so as not to return the country to wrongs hands like what we saw in the 16 years of PDP misrule.
“We want Nigerians to be aware that we are not part of the political mess called endorsement by these so called leaders from the region. We are solidly behind President Buhari’s re-election come February 16, 2019. The so called endorsements 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”..
Explaining why they are filing up behind the APC presidential candidate, he groups said corruption, which has been the bane of development in Nigeria, is being tackled head on by the Buhari administration.
They noted that Nigeria is now making inroads in Agriculture, and security has been given the needed priority, while all abandoned federal projects are now being completed.
They continued: “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 in the streets and drum support for Muhammadu Buhari as the only man to provide lasting solution to our myriad of problems”.
The groups also urged Nigerians to be wary of political propagandists in the opposition camp who are bent on wielding the country back to the era of massive looting by “attempting to destroy the goodwill President Buhari enjoys among the Nigerian populace” in order to install another corrupt regime.
“Those who think they can sabotage the Buhari administration through malicious allegations shall soon take their own tea with salt. It is very disappointing and disturbing to see people with bad records in leadership taking Nigerians for a ride. Sadly for them, their campaign of calumny against the president has failed woefully because Nigerians can read between the lines”.