Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar
By John Shiklam , Mohammed Aminu and Segun Awofadeji
The scheming for power ahead of the 2015 general election continued to gather momentum at several locations in the North at the weekend.
Some Northern interest groups at several fora in Sokoto, Kaduna and Bauchi brainstormed on how to ensure the return of the presidency to the North, which was truncated following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
One of the groups suggested that for the North to reclaim the presidency, all stakeholders must work together towards the emergence of a consensus candidate while another urged former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to vie for the nation’s primal political position.
Northern professionals under the aegis of Concerned Arewa Patriots (CAP) decried the security situation in the country, which it blamed on North’s loss of the presidency arising from Yar'Adua’s death.
It said it would hold consultations across the region with a view to presenting a formidable candidate for the North for the 2015 presidential election.
National Coordinator of the group, Hon. Maiyaki Idris, told THISDAY in an interview, that it was the breach of the gentleman’s agreement in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on power rotation between the North and South that had led to the crisis in the nation.
“That is why we said President Goodluck Jonathan should humbly allow the North to complete Yar'Adua's tenure of four years so that we can have peace in the country,” Idris said.
According to him, CAP has begun moves in the 19 Northern states to find a consensus candidate for the region in 2015.
“Our initiative is in favour of the selection of candidates devoid of sentiments, religion and ethnicity, but based on merit towards the emergence of the Northern presidency come 2015,” he stated.
However, a group, Northern Initiative for Democracy and Good Governance in Nigeria (NIDEGON), believes that nobody is better suited to reclaim the presidency for the North than Atiku whom it urged to run in 2015.
NIDEGON Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Musa-Dass, at a press conference in Bauchi, enumerated the qualities of Atiku that make him the best candidate to include his far-reaching political network, background, zeal and passion to serve Nigeria.
Musa-Dass said the group was working towards mobilising the Northern political class and others to support Atiku whom he described as “tested and trusted”.
He stated: “We are calling on Northerners, particularly former heads of state to come together under one umbrella to salvage the region from the retrogressive trend, insecurity, unemployment, and bad leadership that have in the past retarded development.
“We are not selfish, but we know we have a lot of potential presidential materials in the Northern region who can contest for the position anytime anywhere, but Turaki (Atiku) is ready-made. Therefore, let him set the pace.”
Other than CAP, some Northern youths have also joined in the quest that the North fields its best candidate for the 2015 presidential election.
The youths, after a meeting of all the youth groups in the region, especially the core Northern states in Kaduna at the weekend, said they would resist the emergence of an old and tired politician as a Northern candidate in the election.
The National Chairman of Northern Youth Assembly (NYA) and convener of the meeting, Alhaji Ibrahim Waiya, told THISDAY in an interview after the meeting that Northern youths were mobilising to come together under one platform that would enable them articulate their position in 2015 and chart the way forward for a better future.
“We feel the need for us as youths in the North to begin to articulate our views and positions and come out with a common agenda that will emancipate the youths and chart the way for a better future,” he said.