- The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has said it would not support only President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019
- The forum said other Northern leaders who are interested in the presidential bid would also be supported
- The chairman of the forum Abubakar Girei said doors would not be shut against other Northern aspirants
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) on Monday, July 10, said it would not support President Muhammadu Buhari in the next general election.
The Forum said other Northern leaders who would show interest in the presidential bid would be supported.
Speaking on the request by a pro-Buhari group under the aegis of Muhammadu Buhari Legacy Implementation Initiatives, for the total support of the president in 2019, the chairman of the forum Abubakar Girei said doors would not be shut against other Northern aspirants.
Girei said he does not agree that with the pro-Buhari group that there is no need for any other person to contest in the presidential election in 2019.
He said: “I don’t agree with you that by next election North does not need any other person, I suggest that you reconsider your position.
“Secondly, you don’t need to tell us about Buhari’s honesty because we know, that was why Nigerians voted for him. What you can do now is to bring out the legacies or achievements of Buhuri, which Nigerians don’t know so that the people can appreciate him and his kind of character.”
Also reacting to the request, the legal adviser for the forum Halima Alfa and a member of the national executive council for the forum Joseph Waku said ACF was a wrong place for the pro-Buhari campaign.
“This is ACF. In our constitution, we say we are not partisan, and so on, so whatever we do, we should do it in line with our constitution because here we are with Buhari legacy group urging us to vote for Buhari as President, and another time may come, and we may not know who is watching and listening, and for this body to pick Buhari as an individual to campaign for Buhari in 2017, I think it is wrong for this August body.
“I feel this is not the right place for you to extend this cause because in 2014/2015 when Buhari was coming, I will want you to note that this body ACF vouched for Buhari, and today is history," Waku said.
‘’So, I will not support, according to our constitution, to come here in 2017 to canvass for Buhari in 2019. This is not the right place for this.
“For what the constitution of ACF stands for, we have to be very mindful because even in 2015 when Buhari was contesting, he was not the only northern candidate, we had about four of them from Arewa.
“If any one of them should come here and say they too want to portray the legacies of whoever they stand for, then we have to listen to all. We have to very careful and mindful of what we do”, she said.
“This is a wrong place for your group to make a first stop, particularly for measuring two political parties in our midst. We are not here to assess political party that is strong or weak.
‘’Therefore, we welcome you democratically, freedom of speech, freedom of association, you are entitled to it.
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“Having said that, Buhari became President of Nigeria because he is Buhari, it is not because of you, not because of APC, not because of PDP, it is because he is Buhari. And I keep telling Nigerians that APC did not win election, Buhari won election. And, therefore, coming to lecture us about Buhari legacy, you are in wrong place.
“We should go back to our states to pray for Buhari, and after that, we can talk about election. When Nigerians voted for Buhari, they didn’t know you and your group. We are not here in ACF for cheap publicity."
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the ACF had given given Igbos living in the North three months ultimatum to vacate the region.
The forum also expressed disappointments over Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai's statement condemning the ultimatum and ordering arrest of leaders of the group.
The forum had also in their statement urged northerners living in the south-eastern part of the country to immediately start moving back to their various states.
You can watch this NAIJ.com of Nigerians reacting to President Buhari's absence: