The Northern Leaders Consultative Forum, a body that comprises Muslim and Christian leaders across the 19 Northern States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has adopted the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as their consensus candidate for the 2023 presidential election. The endorsement came at a meeting of the leaders and delegates of the forum, which held on Friday at the Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Centre, Abuja.
The meeting had in attendance leaders of religious groups, women and youth organisations drawn from all over the northern region. In what could be described as a massive mobilisation of northerners against the All Progressives Congress (APC), the forum adopted a resolution, which charged members of the forum to work for the PDP during the forthcoming elections.
The resolution of the meeting read in parts: “The APC as we all know has fielded the same faith (Muslim-Muslim) ticket, which excludes a large demography of Christians, who do not feel represented by the ticket. The APC presidential ticket does not promote inclusiveness, unity, religious harmony and cohesion. “A large population of Muslims has also expressed reservations to this ticket and has called for fairness and inclusivity.
“Consequently, this ticket is outrightly rejected by the Forum and we hereby call on all lovers of democracy, peaceful coexistence, unity and religious harmony to reject the ticket in its entirety. “The PDP presidential ticket is a representative of our religious diversity as a people. The presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar is the only candidate among those of the four leading political parties that has the knowledge and experience of managing the country at the presidential level. This gives him the advantage to set the ball rolling from day one.” The resolution was jointly signed by a former Deputy Governor of Sokoto State and Minister of Water Resources during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, Hon. Mukhtari Shagari and Professor D. D. Sheni. The decision to back the former Vice President followed the adoption of the report of a technical committee led by a former minority leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Mohammed Umara Kumalia and Barrister Nunge Mele, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.