2019: Arewa Youth Dump Buhari, Back Atiku

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Front row:Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (5th left),with renowned artist and award recipient, Bruce Onobrakpeya (2nd left), Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha (3rd right), Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita (2nd right), other Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) recipients and their family members, after the investiture at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, yesterday.

The Arewa Youth for Peace and Security, yesterday, described the various groups endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari for 2019 Presidency as, “sycophants.”
The youth said the decision to endorse Buhari for a second term was anti-democratic, which should be dismissed by all well-meaning Nigerians.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, the group’s Director for Publicity, Salihu Dantata Mahmoud urged Buhari to provide a level playing field by ensuring that the All Progressives Congress (APC), conducts a primary election.
Dismissing the call for the endorsement of Buhari in 2019, Mahmoud said such action “doesn’t make democracy to strive.”
According to Mahmoud, “Democracy gives room for a level playing ground, we don’t succumb to endorsement. We think endorsement is anti-democracy. You provide a level playing ground that is why in every political party, there is room for primaries where you allow even the list candidate to participate.
“Recently, I got to know that some groups have been endorsing Baba Buhari; it is too early. This is the same mistake we made in the past administrations that brought us to where we are today.
“Just like Tinubu said recently that the Buhari he knows will not succumb to the tactics of endorsement, I think it is a game by sycophants, who are out for gains or to get some form of compensation.
“My fervent advice to Buhari is to allow primaries to hold in the APC, endorsement doesn’t make democracy to strive. Mind you, we are in third world democracy which is still nascent, which only got stable in 1999 when Obasanjo took over.
“We should not abuse it; we saw what happened in Zimbabwe where President Mugabe that had history of fighting for the independence of the country in 1980 was shown the way out by his boys in the Military, though they slapped him with one hand and made him laugh with another hand by giving him immunity from prosecution.
“In Arewa Youths for Peace and Security, we don’t give room for endorsement, we are realist. We present the record the way they are and we believe that Buhari should not succumb to the antics of some sycophants.
“We go with the position of Tinubu that there should be primaries for all party members. In our own opinion, we are not disposed to the antics of endorsement.”
Meanwhile, the Arewa Youths for Peace and Security has dismissed insinuations in some quarters that former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar is a “political prostitute” for his defections between the two major political parties in the country, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The youth said the former vice president was only exercising his fundamental human right as a Nigerian by moving between both parties.
Director for Publicity of the body, Salihu Dantata Mahmoud told newsmen that Abubakar felt he could achieve his political ambition in the PDP, the reason for his decision to dump the ruling party for his former party.
Mahmoud said the Waziri of Adamawa reserves the right to do “whatever possible, provided it’s not criminal” to attain his political ambition.
He said, “Everybody cannot be an Abraham Lincoln that would achieve both failure and success by becoming the president of the United States in one party.
“Mind you, this is Nigeria and Atiku is a Nigerian with blood running in his body. See people calling him political prostitute but I hold him in high esteem not because he was a former vice president but because he is an elder statesman of reputation.
“The fact remains that the success of this present administration can be attributed partly to the contribution of Atiku from when they lost primaries in Lagos and all came together to ensure that that APC became victorious at the 2015 elections.
“Whatever opinion anybody has against Atiku is the person just expressing their fundamental human right as Nigerian, it’s allowed.
“As a politician, you can decide that you want to belong to a party today or party tomorrow provided it would serve your interest. Atiku wants to be president and he has seen that by the present arrangement in the APC, if he remains there, he would be suppressed.
“Look at the APC setup, there are problems everywhere from local to National and is no long comfortable and that is why he chose to defect. Forget about his past antecedents, it is allowed, especially in the polity of Nigeria, I think he has seen what he wants in PDP that is why he decamped”.
“By my experience in politics, it is allowed that if your interest is not protected in the party you are today, you can decamp but what critics also need to know is that there is no straight forward language in politics. Integrity they talk about only works when you win election but during the process that make you clinch and win election, you do whatever possible, provided it’s not criminal.
“I think Atiku is entitled to his fundamental human right as a Nigerian to decamp to any party any day and time, he has observed succour in PDP and that is why he rejoined. For me as a Nigerian youth, I have a lot of respect for him and would never call him a political prostitute, sometime it’s allowed in the polity.”
On the chances of the former Vice President emerging as PDP flag bearer in 2019, Mahmoud said, “When Buhari emerged, it was not written in the books, you cannot compare Atiku to the likes of Fayose.
“Both Makarfi and Fayose cannot withstand the force of Atiku, he was the former Vice President of Nigeria, he became a governor-elect in 1999 before he was picked as Vice President and he spent eight years in that position, people like Makarfi and Fayose were governors under him, you can’t compare them.
“Makarfi and Fayose are only popular and have the majority in their states, as for Atiku he is a national figure. Nigerian electorates follow candidates and not party, in 2019, we can unveil another black horse like we did with Buhari, nobody knew he was going to make it.”