Â John Shiklam in Kaduna
Ahead of the 2019 elections, aÂ group known as Good-News Nigeria, is mounting pressure on aÂ former military governor of Kaduna State, Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd.), to contest theÂ presidential election.
In a statementÂ issued yesterdayÂ in Kaduna, the group said Umar is a true patriot and one of the few credible Nigerians with the capacityÂ to unite the country and move it forward.
Umar was the governor of Kaduna state between 1985 and 1988, during the administration of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
Upon his retirement from the Nigerian Army in 1993, he became a social critic and founded the Movement for Unity and Progress (MUP).
The group in the statement signed by its National Coordinator, Dauda Mbaya,Â appealed to northern leaders to persuade the former military governor to join the race for the exalted position.
Mbaya said his group was doing everything possible to convince the former governor to run for the presidency even though Umar is not known to belong to any political party.
Mbaya maintained thatÂ Umar is â€œthe only credible and detribilised Nigerian with sound moralsÂ who can take Nigeria to the promised land.â€
â€œNorthern leaders need to convinceÂ Umar to step out and contest because of his military background. His strength of character, his urbaneness, his record of inclusivity, his contagiously genuine passion for pan-Nigerianism, his commitment to higher principles, his vast knowledge of the ways of the world, his intellectual curiosity andÂ his broadmindedness stands him out,â€ the group said.
The statement further notedÂ thatÂ Umar sacrificed his military career to fight the injustice in the annulment of theÂ June 12,Â 1993 Presidential elections presumed to have been won by the late Chief MKO Abiola, stressing that â€œheÂ is one of the few northern leaders that can be trusted by all religious and interest groups across the country.â€