Atiku Abubakar made a remark during his interaction with the committee on Saturday, and it has been widely condemned by the Arewa Joint Committee.
Recently, presidential candidates were welcomed by the Joint Committee, which consists of six Northern organizations: Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Arewa House, Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), and Jamiyyar Matan Arewa.
Atiku remarked, “A typical Northerner does not need a Yoruba or Igbo president, but a northern President who is a pan Nigeria,” in response to a query from NEF Spokesman Dr. Hakeem Baba about why he believes the North should vote for him in 2023.
Malam Murtala Aliyu, the chairman of the steering committee, said in a news conference that candidates other than Atiku had also been given the same question. He added that each candidate’s response was exclusively their own and had nothing to do with the core goals of the joint committee.
“Atiku should clear himself,” he remarked. Other presidential contenders also received the same inquiry from the Committee.
Therefore, we have no business sharing our guests’ opinions.
The joint committee further emphasized that the interactions were not created with the intention of endorsing any particular candidate and that the sole purpose of the first edition was to prepare any candidate who wins the upcoming general election to handle the concerns of the north.
“These encounters in and of themselves were not organized with the objective of endorsing a candidate,” the Committee claims. They are a part of a larger process that spans a significant portion of the campaigning time and aims to inspire candidates to make pledges to address the concerns of the North.
“We intend to gather and make public these pledges so that Nigerians can assess and compare candidates based on them.
Our objective is to give voters the chance to compare candidates’ stances on issues that are crucial to the interests of the North.
“The North will be forced to increase its watch over all political operations until the elections in February 2023. We must prize individuals who demonstrate competence, integrity, a high level of preparedness, and a desire to meet the difficulties of the North.
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“We will continue to call the government’s attention to the security of the election process, particularly the North’s vulnerability to organized crime, which might represent a severe threat to their right to vote in the 2023 election for the next sect of leaders.
There has never been a greater urgent necessity for politicians to exercise moderation and control when campaigning for our elections. All participants must be welcome, and there must be no violence anywhere in the Nation.
“The nation is already displaying indications of stress due to the exploitation of ethnic and religious fault lines, which is exceedingly dangerous.”