YOLA/Nigeria: While admitting that initially, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was of the view that the 2023 Presidency should be from the South East, a coalition comprising over 40 groups, Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) has said that he has given assurances of backing the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
NYLF expressed this at a press conference at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Yola on Friday May 3, 2022, with the text of the statement read by its President, Comrade Eliot Afiyo.
“We want to unequivocally state that former President Olusegun Obasanjo has assured us of his strong and unflinching support for the PDP and its presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar.
“It is true that Chief Obasanjo was initially of the opinion that the next president in 2023 should come from the south especially the South-East.
“But he equally observed that what and who Nigeria needs as the president in 2023 is somebody that has the political will, knows the intrigues and intricacies of the Nigerian politics in general and the Northern political scheming, political manipulations and the emerging dynamic political trends and above all, the boldness and courage needed to face the national issues, take tough decisions, change the status and challenging the powers that be to ensuring justice, equality, equity and sense of belonging. This for sure, Chief Obasanjo is not unmindful of,” the group said.
They submitted that from all indications, and available political indices, only Atiku Abubakar possesses these qualities.
“It is in this direction thereof, Chief Obasanjo clearly stated that he and other members of the Circuit, had decided to unanimously endorsed and supported the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the PDP.
“Even political insolents and shenanigans know for sure that the Labour Party will never form a national government where PDP and APC exist no matter how best their candidate is.
“Peter Obi is not even known amongst the rural North where 70% of votes come from, not to talk of being elected by them,” the group said..
They explained that elections are not and will never be won through online or public opinion in Nigeria because those that determine the winners are not in the urban areas.
“It is therefore, unimaginable to say for a least, that Chief Obasanjo will think of supporting Peter Obi.
“Chief Obasanjo and his Circuit have said it time without number, that 2023 will be the best season for them to correct whatever errors or mistakes committed by the founding fathers and their generation. It is the best time to right the wrongs.
“We want to advice that Chief Obasanjo is a noble voice that erects, exerts and attracts respect especially in the entire North and as such should not be used for propaganda,” they submitted.
On the purpoted Ohaneze Ndi Igbo leaders and youth pronouncements, NYLF said that in spite of the perceived injustice in the South East, provocative pronouncements should be avoided.
“We strongly observed with great dismay, the pronouncements made by the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo president which was followed by the pronouncement of the president of the youth wing.
“While acknowledging the fact that there is a great injustice in the nation especially to the South – East region, nevertheless, we want to say that this is not the time for hard-line, provocative and offensive pronouncements.
“We are of the opinion that these pronouncements are insensitive and unexpected of genuine patriots of Nigeria more so that it is now time to unite and form a common front to confront the demons and idols in human forms that are bent in destroying our nation,” Comrade Afiyo said.
Speaking further, he said that Atiku Abubakar may not be the Joshua that will take Nigeria to the Promised Land, but definitely, he is the Moses that will free the nation from the wicked grip of slave masters and taskmasters and subsequently take it out of Egypt to crossing the red sea.
“A word is enough for our wise men from the East,” he added.
Commenting on Atiku’s running mate For 2023, the group expressed optimism that errors made in 2019 would not be repeated.
“It is our firm belief that the mistakes and errors made or committed by the PDP and Atiku Abubakar in 2019 should be avoided at all cost.
“We observed strongly that the choice of both running mate and the Director-General of Atiku Campaign Organization, led to the lukewarm attitude of the stakeholders and the masses especially the elites who despite the fact that Atiku won the election, yet, they decided not to stop the APC’s massive rigging, defend the votes or oppose the results declared by INEC change the narrative and restructure Nigeria,” they said.
Reacting to the much publicised deleted Atiku’s Tweet on Atiku’s Tweet on Deborah Samuel’s murder, the group said that it was out of love for humanity.
“Of a truth, we would like to commend Atiku Abubakar for his courage, wisdom and love for humanity, peaceful co-existence and religious tolerance instead of condemning him for deleting the said tweet. We dare to say that Atiku should be commended because God has used him to avert a serious impending religious war in the country.
“Deleting the tweet by Atiku and sacking his Media Aide was timely and the best option considering the intelligence reports at our disposal as at the time the tweet was deleted because it does
not only stop the altercations and vituperations which may lead to serious and more blasphemies which will eventually generate riotous violence, it also averted the planned escalation of religious violence and massive killings of Christians in Sokoto, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Adamawa, Zamfara, Kebbi and Plateau States.
“We want to put it on records that Atiku was not aware of the Tweet until I drew his attention through one of his aides and appealed to him to delete it immediately based on the intelligence reports I received from our Coordinators in Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna, Adamawa, Kebbi and Zamfara.
“Even with that decision by Atiku, the planned destruction of worship centres and business places was minimally carried out thanks to our State Coordinators and the Islamic Clerics like Gumi and others who immediately passed the decision of Atiku down the line as a result of which the killings were averted.
“To this end, we want to express our profound gratitude to Alh. Atiku Abubakar for taking such decision in the interest of the nation.
“We also want to thank him who despite being a comfortable, settled and accomplished individual, still offered himself to serve the country so as to correct the injustices, address the fantastic corruption and stop the unwarranted and senseless shedding of blood all over the country.
“We make bold to say that Atiku Abubakar is someone who believes in the unity of Nigeria and sees Nigeria in every Nigerian.
We sincerely thank our patrons and elders who stood firmly to ensure the victory of Atiku Abubakar and also to all members of Teecom under the leadership of High Chief Raymond Dokpesi who paid and made sacrifices for a successful awareness and primaries,” the group explained.
It is a great privilege and my humbled respect to address you today on some national issues and the political decision and direction of the Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF).
You may recall that the NYLF shifted her political allegiance and support from Governor Bala Mohammed to Alh. Atiku Abubakar on 26th March, 2022 when the entire National officers paid a courtesy call on Atiku and consequently decorated him and High Chief Dokpesi with the golden and silver swords respectively, thereby surrendering and pledging totally, our allegiance and loyalty to Atiku Abubakar whether for good or bad.
They therefore, debunked publications that they withdrew support for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar ahead the 2023 polls.
“It is therefore, not true that the NYLF has withdrawn its support for Atiku Abubakar as being peddled by a section of the press especially the southern online bloggers that NYLF endorses Peter Obi.
“It is our strong belief and conviction that Peter Obi has the intellect and economic know – how but lacks the political will to take though decisions and popular appeal especially in the rural North.
“We want to state clearly that the NYLF is hundred per cent behind Atiku Abubakar,” they affirmed.
The group extended appreciation to all former and present members of the NYLF who served as delegates and gatekeepers to ensuring Atiku Abubakar’s victory.
“In conclusion, we want to reiterate our total support and commitment towards ensuring the victory of Atiku Abubakar in the forthcoming presidential election by giving him the rural North’s votes, stopping rigging by all means, protecting the votes and ensuring the proper recording and announcement of the results,” they vowed.