Regional socio-cultural organisations including Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Northern Elders Forum, Pan-Niger Delta Forum and the Middle Belt Forum have endorsed the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar
The groups which are currently meeting at Sheraton Hotel,Abuja, said Atiku possessed the intelligence, capability and knowledge to lead the nation.
Leaders of the associations such as Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, Malam Ango Abdullahi, Chief Edwin Clark and Dr. Bitrus Pogu, therefore, asked Nigerians to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential flagbearer on February 16.
Ango Abdullahi, convener of Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), said Nigeria is at a cross roads, attributing the endorsement of Atiku to principles reached a year ago.
“The reality is that we have to fish for a president among the two major parties, the ruling and the main opposition,” he said.
“It is clear that the country requires a new leadership and this is why the Northern elders Forum which I lead is in agreement that a new leader should emerge and that leader is Atiku Abubakar.”
Responding to government’s attacks following criticism of the administration, Abdullahi said, “It is unfair to accuse us of vested interested on issues that ought to be of concern to every Nigerian irrespective of tribe and religion. Nothing is farther from the truth that some of us are being frustrated because we have been denied of contracts or appointments.
“We are yet to receive a reply to a letter challenging the government to name any of our colleagues who have asked for contracts.
“Today, our focus is on free, fair and credible elections without which the image of the country will never rise above where we are today. Where we are today, for a country with our size in Africa, so endowed with the kind of resources we have, where we are today is because of crisis of leadership. This election is about serious changes in the kind of leadership we deserve.”