The Northern Youth Leaders Forum, NYLF has debunked claims that it has withdrawn its support for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
NYLF president, comrade Elliot Afiyo who briefed pressmen at the NUJ press center, Yola alongside some members of the forum, said the rumor was being peddled by a section of the press especially the southern online bloggers stating that the NYLF has endorsed 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 tough decisions and popular appeal, especially in the rural north.
We want to state clearly that the NYLF is hundred percent behind Atiku Abubakar,” the group said.
Comrade Afiyo said that former president Olusegun Obasanjo has assured the forum of his strong and unflinching support for the PDP and its presidential candidate, 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 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,” the forum said.
It added that from all indications, and available political indices, only Atiku Abubakar possesses those qualities.
Afiyo further states that “it is in this direction, therefore, chief Obasanjo clearly stated that he and other members of the circuit, had decided to unanimously endorse and supported the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the PDP.
Recalled that Peter Obi who was Atiku’s running mate at the 2019 elections left the PDP before it’s presidential primary and joined the labour party. Obi has since picked the presidential ticket of the labour party, a move that the Northern Youth Leaders Forum described as good.
“Even political insolence and shenanigans know for sure that the Labour party will never form a national government where the PDP and APC exist no matter how best their candidates are. Peter Obi is not even known amongst the rural north where 70% of votes come from, not to talk f being elected by them. We ought to know 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.”
The group advised that the choice of Atiku’s running mate in the 2023 election should be carefully and diligently considered and also based on some qualities, requirements, and the emerging dynamic of political ends instead of historical and traditional considerations.
“The running mate to Atiku should be a man of trusted loyalty, courageous, bold, and above all, somebody who believes in Atiku’s vision and mission and who cannot be easily influenced, used or swayed by others to oppose the policy trust of Atiku’s administration,” he added.