Barely four days to the presidential election, the apex northern sociocultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has finally endorsed the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) President Muhammadu Buhari.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday at the headquarters of the forum in Kaduna shortly after a meeting held under the Chairmanship of Malam Adamu M.Fika, Chairman Board of Trustees of the forum, the forum resolved that “ACF believes that President Muhammadu Buhari deserves a second term to consolidate on his achievements”.
The text of the briefing which was read by Alhaji Musa Liman Kwande Ag. Chairman NEC reads in parts; “ACF takes note of the state of the political situation as the nation goes into another round of elections, where tensions are heightened as a result of intense campaigns, lobbying and horse-trading among political actors.
“ACF takes special note that major political parties have nominated prominent northerners, for the February 16th 2019 Presidential Elections. The Forum has carefully studied the antecedents of major presidential candidates, the manifestoes and policy documents of their parties, alongside the need for social, political and economic stability in the country.
“ACF is therefore, of the view that certain attributes such as clarity of thought, unity of purpose, content of character and morality of the candidates, their leadership qualities, performance and general acceptability of the candidates contesting for not only the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but also for other elective offices should guide voters in making their choices”.
The decision on who to elect should not be based on any form of inducements, mob hysteria, intimidation or false promises, but by calm and deliberate consideration of the candidates’ qualities of leadership, performance and moral standing in their public and private lives.
Furthermore, other considerations such as capacity to tackle security challenges, fight corruption, and boost the economy by way of diversification away from over dependence on oil, by infrastructural development in order to promote growth. The integrity of the candidate to raise the image of Nigeria in the comity of nations is equally important in the election.
“ACF notes, the strides taken by the Buhari administration to improve and reposition the nation economically. A few examples are: The multi-billion Dollar Mambilla hydro power project, the exploration of oil in Gongola Basin of the Benue trough, the Baro inland port, the North East Development Commission, the ongoing rail line projects nationwide, and other critical infrastructural development projects.
“Consequent upon the contributions of the incumbent government to the economic and infrastructural development of the nation, and the government’s achievements in combating insurgency and other insecurity problems bedeviling the country, ACF believes that President Muhammadu Buhari deserves a second term to consolidate on his achievements”.
ACF also called on the politicians and their supporters as well as the electorates to avoid all forms of violence before, during and after the elections, stressing that violence is never a solution to any grievances.
“Violence not only destroys our democratic process but also lives and property. Democracy is a contest of ideas and reasons” it further stressed.
ACF also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to live up its promise and assurances for a credible, free and fair elections.
The forum equally called on the Police and other security agencies involved in providing security to the election process to remain neutral and professional in their conduct.
Those who attended the meeting were Alh. Adamu Fika, Board of Trustee (BoT), Gen I. M Wushishi Chairman ACF leadership selection Committee, Alh. Musa Liman Kwande, Ag Chairman, Ambassador Adamu Muhammad, Deputy Chairman BoT, Senator Abubakar H. Girei Vice Chairman NEC, Anthony N .Z Sani Secretary General, Engr Abubakar G. Umar Deputy Secretary General and Alh. Muhammad Ibrahim National Publicity Secretary.