2023 Election: Dogara, aggrieved northern Christian leaders in APC endorse Atiku
After several months of political permutations, the Northern Elders Consultative Forum, including the Christian leaders in the All Progressives Congress, APC in the North on Friday formally adopted the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar for the 2023 election, Vondigest can report.
According to them, Atiku was adopted following the resolve of the Northern Christian leaders to work with their Muslim counterparts to adopt one of the presidential candidates in a bid to defeat the same-faith presidential ticket of the APC.
Reports obtained from PUNCH stated that a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, who had been a member of the group had endorsed the presidential candidate, of Labour Party, Peter Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed.
Lawal said Obi were endorsed, after painstakingly reviewing and analysing the alternative candidates.
But a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and other members of the group distanced themselves from the endorsement, saying they were yet to conclude consultations and that their position will be made public.
However, making their position known at a widely attended event in Abuja on Friday, a former Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba, while reading the report of the technical criteria committee set up by the leaders, said Atiku was adopted after due consideration of the report of the technical criteria committee set up by the leaders.
The report was unanimously adopted.
Apart from Dogara and Achuba, Northern leaders at the meeting included a former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada and a former Minister for Water Resources, Mukhtar Shagari.
The report was signed by its chairman and former Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Mohammed Umara Kumaila and a legal practitioner, Nunge Mele (SAN).
Achuba said the candidates evaluated were Atiku; the presidential candidate of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
He said the leaders took consideration of existing structure of the PDP, capacity of the candidates, evidence of national penetration, religious and ethnic balance, among others to arrive at the decision.