- President Muhammadu Buhari's second-term chance could be injured as the Arewa Consultative Forum is withholding its support
- The ACF noted that it supported Buhari in 2015 as sole candidate from the north but that will change in 2019
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has declared that it can no longer declare support solely for President Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria inches towards 2019.
The ACF said it was not sure of its support for Buhari in 2019.
The northern group noted that 2019 was different from 2015, a period it declared massive and unanimous support for the president and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The group was reacting after it was approached by the Muhammadu Buhari Legacy Implementation Initiatives for support for the president ahead 2019.
"ACF is not a partisan group,” Daily Trust reported the group’s secretariat, in Kaduna, as saying.
NAIJ.com learnt that Ado Mohammed, the chairman of the Muhammadu Buhari Legacy Implementation Initiatives, said since after the president’s election in 2015, the members have gone round the county urging for support for him and showcasing his legacies.
“What remains for us now is to start recruitment before the end of July, and we are calling on the management of this forum to cooperate with us,” he stated.
However, in reaction, the vice chairman of ACF, Senator Abubakar Girei, said: “I don’t agree with you that by next election, the north does not need any other person, I suggest that you reconsider your position.
“Secondly you don’t need to tell us about Buhari’s honesty because we know, that was why Nigerians voted for him.
“What you can do now is to bring out the legacies or achievements of Buhari which Nigerians don’t know so that the people can appreciate him and his kind of character."
Also reacting, the national legal adviser of ACF, Hajiya Halima Alfa, noted that the northern group was not partisan.
She added: “I feel this is not the right place for you to extend this cause because in 2014/2015, when Buhari was coming, this body (ACF) vouched for Buhari, and today is history, he is there courtesy of all Arewa people.
“So I will not support, according to our constitution, that you come here to canvass for Buhari for 2019. This is not the right place for this.
“For what the constitution of ACF stands for, we have to be very mindful because even in 2015 when Buhari was contesting, he was not the only northern candidate; we had about four of them from Arewa.
“If any one of them should come here and say they too want to portray the legacies of whoever they stand for, then we have to listen to all. We have to be very careful and mindful.”
Vanguard also reported Senator Joseph Waku, another member of the ACF, as saying: “This is a wrong place for your group to make a first stop, particularly for measuring two political parties in our midst.
“We are not here to assess political party that is strong or weak.
“Therefore, we welcome you democratically, freedom of speech, freedom of association, you are entitled to it.
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“Having said that, Buhari became president of Nigeria because he is Buhari, it is not because of you, not because of APC, not because of PDP, it is because he is Buhari.
“And I keep telling Nigerians that APC did not win election, Buhari won election. And, therefore, coming to lecture us about Buhari legacy, you are in wrong place.
“We should go back to our states to pray for Buhari, and after that, we can talk about election. When Nigerians voted for Buhari, they didn’t know you and your group.
“We are not here in ACF for cheap publicity.”
NAIJ.com had earlier reported that some Nigerians have reacted sharply to a message posted on social media by Senator Shehu Sani and the reply by Aisha, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Some of those who reacted alleged that the duo had joined Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in calling Nigeria a zoo.
Though the two did not categorically call Nigeria a zoo, they spoke in anecdote illustrating details with about the current crisis in the country’s leadership with animals.
Watch this video as Nigerians air their opinions about Buhari's government: