The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has warned its members against endorsing any aspirant or candidate ahead of the 2023 presidential election, saying that the forum is not a political party that nominates candidates.
National Chairman of ACF and a former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said in a communique he issued at end of the Forum’s National Executive Council meeting in Kaduna State that the forum does not have a candidate and will not endorse one ahead of the 2023 election irrespective of whether the person is from the north or south.
He said that the forum will only engage candidates to find out the programmes they have for the north after the political parties who have the exclusive permission of the constitution to sponsor candidates have chosen a presidential candidate.
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“We should desist from endorsing any candidate for the 2023 presidency. If anybody asks you about the endorsement, tell such person that we are not a political party.
“Even for 2023, we do not know yet who the candidate is. We are not a political party. We do not participate in political activities except where it becomes necessary. May God help us with a good candidate. It is only the Almighty God that can solve our problems,” he added.
Chief Ogbeh also disclosed that the ACF plans to hold meetings with their southern counterparts, South-South people’s congress, Afenifere, and Ohanaeze Ndigbo in order to douse political tension in the country and ensure peaceful coexistence among Nigerians ahead of the next year’s general elections.
On kidnapping and killing of students and pupils in both private and public schools across the country, particularly the murder of Hanifa Abubakar in Kano State, the ACF Chairman said: “Government must try very hard to bring sanity to our school system, otherwise we are going nowhere because there are crimes like cultism, sodomy, and others in most of our schools today.”
He also commended Governor Abdullahi Gandguje for his prompt action in arresting the situation.
“Not only has the government closed down the school, but he has also withdrawn the certification of the school. We agree with him because we cannot revert to barbarism without experiencing civilization. We encourage other state governors to be as proactive in solving similar problems where they arise,” the communique noted.
The forum also commended the government of Kaduna and Governor Nasir El Rufai for the grand efforts made by his administration to improve the infrastructural facilities in Kaduna.
“We have noted that Kaduna is wearing a new and beautiful face and we encourage other state governments to copy this example. We also noticed that the Kaduna state has attracted direct foreign investment in the state.
“We also encourage other states to study and follow the progressive initiatives of Kaduna state government which has led to this progressive economic achievement by the state,” the ACF added.
“Still, we encourage the state government to embark on the study of the impact of the modernization drive so that those adversely affected do not come back to haunt the rest of the society.
“While we are impressed with some state governments who have performed well, we are also demoralized by the governors who have performed very poorly. Consequently, we intend to strengthen our partnership with state governments of the north. It is only when our partnership is strengthened that we can make progress. There is also is need to renew our partnership members of the National Assembly from the North”.
“We have always complained of late of the security situation in the north. We are still worried about this. The security conditions in the north are far from satisfactory. We urge the Federal and state government to embark on measures that will improve the situation”.