By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – A pro-democacy group, the Northern Alternative Forum, NAF, has advised Northern elder searching for a credible presidential candidate from the region ahead of the 2019 general polls, to crash the idea because there is no better candidate than President Muhammadu Buhari for now.
The group, which gave the advice against the backdrop of recent moves by the elders and stakeholders in the North to get a consensus presidential candidate from the zone other than Buhari, said the quest may turn to wild a goose chase.
The elders who converged in Abuja penultimate Saturday had said President Buhari and late President Umaru Yar’Adua, both from the North, were not chosen by Northerners but were rather foisted on the North and the country in general by some political forces.
But speaking at a press conference Sunday in Abuja. the National Chairman of NAF, Mallam Gidado Ibrahim, said the search for a credible candidate other than President Buhari may turnout to be a wild goose chase, as no politician from the region has shown strong political will to change the economic and social fortunes of the country.
According to him, “After reviewing the outcome of the meeting held recently by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and other interest groups in the North, we in the Northern Alternative Forum have come to the conclusion that shopping for a credible presidential candidate other than President Muhammad Buhari will only come to a dead end.
“Apart from acceptability and credibility, neither the ruling APC nor the opposition PDP can 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”.
Ibrahim 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.
He further noted that the era of siphoning funds meant for arms purchase was over, even as he noted that the oil sector under the current administration has been purged of corrupt elements who squandered the country’s fortunes on frivolities.
“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”.
Endorsing Buhari for a second term, the Northern group said about 15 prodemocracy groups in the country have formed an alliance with it and that it has engaged the services of two ICT professionals from Germany and Switzerland to execute the 2019 campaign for the Buhari/Osinbajo reelection bid”.