•We’re not surprised Dogara-led Northern group adopted Atiku —NNPP, ADP
By Henry Umoru & John Alechenu
The Obi-Datti Media Office, the New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP, and African Democratic Party, ADP, have condemned the adoption of the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by a group of Christian and Muslim leaders in the north, led by former speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
While Obi-Datti Media Office dismissed postulations about the chances of Labour Party. LP, in the forthcoming 2023 presidential elections by former speaker as Old Testament politics, the NNPP and ADP said they were not surprised at Atiku’s adioption by the Dogara group, describing it as a sad development.
The Media Office said its response was triggered by a statement credited to Dogara explaining why he and his own Christian group in the North, chose the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar ahead of the high flying Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi.
The Media Office in Abuja in a statement issued yesterday, noted that according to “the jaundiced view of the former speaker, he does not believe that Obi and the Labour Party will win the election and even if they win, they will not be able to run the system.”
It explained that Dogara had a fundamental right to choose who to support, adding that nobody could hold that against him, but that his attempt to inject “his Old Testament politics into the system to suit his selfish interest is not going to do him any good.”
The statement read: “Clearly, the former speaker knows that he is swimming against the tide by his unpopular decision which amounts to running from frying pan to fire; from one injustice to another and claiming to be acting on behalf of his people whose anger for the two wrongs of the two main political parties are glaring.
“Dogara knows as a fact that his position does not reflect the heart and mind of majority of Nigerian populace who are already on the moving train to take back the country from the primeval political thinkers like him.
“At his level as the Ex-leader of the national parliament, Dogara should have been privileged to read the hand writing on the wall vividly to know that where the pendulum swings today: the talk is not about political party, but about character, competence and capacity, because where the country precariously stands today requires nothing short to save it.
“Dogara as the Speaker of the House of Representatives successfully ran a parliament literally in the opposition to the Executive and heaven did not fall, yet he feels that a pragmatic President like Peter Obi would not be able to maneuver or steer the ship of state.
“It’s obvious that the former Speaker is still leaving in the past of the old politics that brought the country to where we are today that political party interest is taking precedence over and above national interest.
“The former Speaker knows as a fact that his choice is against the tide, as the country stands on two prongs today ahead of 2023; justice and equity on one hand and capacity and competence on the other and not on primordial interest of political party lines.
“We in the Obi-Datti Media see Dogara’s unpopular stand as a clear measure of double standard and a grave error in seeing same faith ticket in his party as wrong but jump to embrace another injustice of a party that refuses to follow its own constitution and respect for political fairness and accommodation.”
We’re not surprised Dogara-led Northern group adopted Atiku —NNPP, ADP
Speaking to Vanguard on the issue, the National Chairman of the NNPP, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali, said the party was disappointed but not surprised at the antics of the former speaker.
According to Alkali, the party will respond to the group decisively in the language it will understand.
He said: “We just received the story and the Communique by the group. We are disappointed but not surprised at what Yakubu Dogara and his co-travellers said. We are going to respond to them decisively in the language they will understand.”
Also speaking with Vanguard, the presidential candidate of ADP, Yabagi Sani, said the time had come for Nigerians to emphasize merit as the yardstick for electing leaders for Nigeria, rather than religion, ethnicity and regionalism.
Sani, who also doubles as the ADP National Chairman, said, “Nigeria should not be balkanized on religious, ethnic and regional prism and stop further widen the fault lines that have held us back for years in the selection of candidates.
“To me it is a sad development that will only keep the country in the vicious circle of retrogression in all facets of life.
“Our party ADP under my administration as the president of Nigeria has all it takes in terms of knowledge, track record and dynamism to take Nigeria in the direction of growth, unity and peace.”
The Forum of Christian and Muslim Political Leaders from the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, had on Friday, adopted Atiku Abubakar as the consensus candidate for the 2023 election, after a meeting at the Atiku Abubakr Hall of Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja
The forum, made up of religious leaders, women and youth organisations, adopted the report of a technical committee, led by a former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mohammed Umara Kumalia, and Mr Nunge Mele, SAN.