- Anthony Sani said the Arewa Consultative Forum was not forced the endorse President Muhammadu Buhari
- The secretary-general of the group said Buhari was the better of the two main candidates
- Sani said the group was against Atiku's plan to sell national assets
Anthony Sani who is the secretary-general of the Arewa Consultative Forum has explained that the group rejected Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party because of his position on restructuring and his plan to sell national assets.
In an interview with The Punch, Sani said although the group had earlier said it would not endorse any candidate, it later decided to openly endorse President Muhammadu Buhari to help people make informed decision.
He said following Atiku’s plan to sell national assets and his insistence on restructuring, the group decided to support Buhari particularly his record in the first term.
Sani said: “What the forum does is to provide leadership qualities required for purposeful leadership and party manifesto of political parties and performance of candidates. This is to enable voters to make informed judgement during elections. But that does not mean when the need arises, the ACF would not endorse a candidate. You know there is always a deviation from the norm.
“In the extant case, the forum was of the view that inspite of some shortcomings of the APC, the ruling party, it is still the best for the country in the circumstance; moreso, that the main opposition party (PDP) made restructuring of the country and sale of the government assets its campaign mantra. This is against the fact that this country has undergone different kinds of restructuring, such as political, economic and geographical; and any further restructuring may be unhelpful. And given the fact that the past sale of government assets did not yield the desired results, the forum was not favourably disposed to any further sale of the government assets. Rather, prudent management of national resources should be what matters. After all, Lagos State is being governed under the same structure and form of government which some people believe is not working.”
He insisted that contrary to report, the ACF was not pressured to endorse the president.
Sani said: “The ACF was not pressured by anybody or government to endorse President Buhari. The endorsement was done after due consideration of the performance, campaign promises and strength of character of the parties concerned.”
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)'s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar campaign organisation, Buba Galadima, alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) sponsored and paid some highly placed Nigerians to beg Atiku not to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari's victory at the election petition tribunal.
Galadima made the allegation while featuring on a Channels Television programme on Wednesday, March 20, saying that every Nigerian knew that the Saturday, February 23, presidential election was rigged by APC.
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