A Northern Nigerian inter- religious group led by the former speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has opted to go with the People Democratic Party( PDP) in respect of the 2023 general election.
The group which comprised both Christian and Muslim leaders from all the 19 states of the North, decided to adopt the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, as the consensus candidate for the election next year, because of what they described as the fair representation of the nation’s diverse society in the party.
They took the decision in Abuja on Friday at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre.
The group adopted the report of the IRS Technical Committee led by a former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mohammed Umara Kumalia, and Mr Nunge Mele.
The Forum of Northern Christian and Muslim Leaders had on October 8 set up the committee to recommend a pan-Nigerian platform to adopt in the 2023 presidential election.
The resolution was contained in a communique jointly signed by a former Deputy Governor of Sokoto State and Minister of Water Resources during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mukhtari Shagari and Professor D. D. Sheni.
The communique revealed that “Forum, therefore, adopted the PDP and the Atiku/Okowa presidential ticket as the right ticket to support in the 2023 presidential elections, as it addresses all the concerns of inclusiveness, fairness and national cohesion”.
The Forum further recommended support for the Atiku Abubakar/Ifeanyi Okowa presidential ticket to all well-meaning Nigerians across the ethnic, sectional and religious diversities, in order to foster unity, peace, development and progress.
The committee completed its assignment and presented its report to the Forum and the report was accordingly adopted and resolved that the four leading political parties that were considered by the Technical Committee for the purpose of this assignment are: the All Progressives Congress (APC); the New Nigeria Peoples’ Party (NNPP); the Labour Party (LP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
The Forum observed that the NNPP and the Labour Party have presidential tickets that are inclusive, representing religious diversity as a country populated by a dominant population of Muslims and Christians.
It was however noted that the NNPP and LP have not yet unveiled their Strategic Policy Plan for Nigerians to interrogate in less than three months before the general elections.
“And so, it is safe to say that no one except the two parties knows the direction in which they intend to take the country. Nigerians cannot go into an election blindfolded, especially in view of the myriad of problems bedeviling the nation,” the Forum observed.