Atiku stirs up hornet’s nest, says Northerners need him as President, not Yoruba, Igbo

In what can be regarded as a stance that may likely provoke reactions, the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has stirred up a hornet’s nest when he declared that Northerners need him as a president since he hails from the North as against Yoruba and Igbo presidential candidates.


Atiku stated this on Saturday during the interactive session of the Arewa Town Hall Policy dialogue in Kaduna.


Atiku also told his audience that they don’t need an Igbo or Yoruba as president but “someone from the North.”


According to the former vice-president, he has criss-crossed Nigeria’s 36 states, including the FCT and understands their peculiarities and diversities.


The PDP presidential candidate also informed the audience that Northerners should trust him with their votes on the grounds that he’s the most qualified to be president.


He said, “I have traversed the whole of this country. I know the whole of this country. I have built bridges across this country. I think what the average Northerner needs is somebody who is from the North, and who also understands the other parts of Nigeria and who has been able to build bridges across the rest of the country.


“This is what the Northerner needs. He (Northerner) doesn’t need a Yoruba candidate, or an Igbo candidate. This is what the Northerner needs.


“I stand before you as a pan-Nigerian of Northern origin.”


TheIdeal recalls that apart from Atiku, who hails from Adamawa State in the North East, two other formidable presidential candidates are also in the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari after the presidential poll in 2023.


They are the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who hails from Lagos State in the South-West and the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, who hails from Anambra State in the South-East


Meanwhile, Atiku has said that the credential of national inclusivity, not ethnicity should be an ideal that the Northerners should examine in electing a new president in 2023.


In a statement made available on Saturday by the Media Adviser to Atiku, Mr Paul Ibe, the former Vice President was quoted as making the remarks when he appeared as a guest at the Arewa Joint Committee interactive sessions with some presidential candidates of political parties in Kaduna.


The statement added that with Atiku’s political career that spanned more than three decades, he stood shoulder-high as a Northerner who had built bridges of unity across the country.


The statement reads in part , “I have been in politics for more than three decades and I am a Northerner. So, if you ask me why I am the best candidate to lead Nigeria in 2023, I will simply say that what Nigeria needs is a pan-Nigerian President, not whether he is Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa-Fulani.”


It further disclosed that the session, which took place at the Arewa House, was attended by high-ranking leaders of various north-based socio-cultural bodies.


It added that Atiku, while delivering his speech at the event, highlighted the key policy agendas which he sought to pursue if elected President to include promoting national unity through deliberate actions that would secure mutual trust and confidence amongst all tendencies.


The statement also quoted Atiku as enumerating reforms in education, agriculture and reversing the economic downturn of the country.


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