Barely three days to the 2019 presidential election, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), a northern socio-cultural group, has thrown its weight behind the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid.
In a statement sent to Akelicious after its meeting on Tuesday evening, the Forum said it has been in the forefront of advocating, for good and responsible governance, peaceful and harmonious co-existence amongst citizens, and equitable development of all sections of the country.
According to the group, “For about two decades, the ACF has engaged in peace building, conflicts resolution and settlement of socio-political crisis within the region”.
ACF stated that, “In continuation of its role as the political compass of the North, the leadership under the Chairmanship of Mallam Adamu M. Fika, Wazirin Fika GCON, Chairman Board of Trustees of the Forum at a meeting today 12th February 2019, has evaluated critical national issues, especially the political situation in the country and its attendant consequences for the continued peace, unity and progress of our dear country Nigeria”.
In the statement signed by Alhaji Musa Liman Kwande, as Acting Chairman NEC, the ACF disclosed that it has taken note of the state of the political situation as the nation goes into another round of elections.
“The 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”.
“The 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.”
The group noted that the strides taken by the Buhari administration to improve and reposition the nation economically, such as 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 calls on the politicians and their supporters as well as the electorates to avoid all forms of violence before, during and after the elections.”
The group advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to live up to its promise and assurances for credible, free and fair elections, while also calling on the Police and other security agencies involved in providing security to the election process, to remain neutral and professional in their conduct.