No fewer than 100 northern civil society organizations have tipped the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, to win the next elections.
The groups, under the auspices of Arewa Youth Council and the Northern Civil Society, made this known on Monday at a press conference in Abuja.
In a statement co-signed by national coordinator and secretary, Mal. Danladi Iliya and Pat. Dauda Y, the northern groups also picked the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, Rev Yakubu Pam, as the most-suitable running mate to Tinubu.
The CSOs said it came to this conclusion after a series of opinion poll conducted across the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory.
They added that Pam garnered the most votes because of his track record as a unifying figure that has contributed immensely to peace, unity and ethnic and religious tolerance across Northern Nigeria over decades.
“The result of the opinion poll confirms this position, and we wish to place it on record that the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu brand is well accepted across the 19 Northern States, including the Federal Capital Territory, “ the statement said.
“Our findings were subjected to multilayer scrutiny and debates using stringent criteria to ensure their veracity in the overarching objective of ensuring that the APC gets it right in the choice of the running mate to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”.
The northern CSOs also revealed that the opinion polls findings indicate a need for a balanced ticket in the form of a credible candidate from any North Central state to fill the vice-presidential slot.
According to them, “the need for ethnic and religious balancing of the ticket cannot be overemphasized; as it would be a political miscalculation should the APC selects a vice-presidential candidate without these considerations.
“As concerned stakeholders, it was incumbent on us to conduct a separate study on the most suitable candidate for the vice-presidential slot from the list of those recommended. The result of the poll was overwhelming in the endorsement of Rev Yakubu Pam, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, from amongst the lot.
“We must state that other names of prominent Nigerians were featured in the list. However, the majority preferred Rev Yakubu Pam because of his track record as a unifying figure that has contributed immensely to peace, unity and ethnic and religious tolerance across Northern Nigeria over decades.
“His experience as a seasoned administrator was also considered, and this much the United Arewa Youth Council and the Northern Civil Society Groups agree with wholeheartedly, given the peculiarities of the time and the plurality of the Nigerian society.
“Having stated the above; the APC Presidential ticket would be given a further boost with the nomination of Rev Yakubu Pam as its vice presidential candidate, which in our considered opinion, would lead to electoral victory because of the broad appeal Rev Yakubu Pam enjoys in most parts of Northern Nigeria and other parts of the country.
“It must be said that Rev Yakubu Pam is an unassuming personality, though silent, and has contributed immensely to our great country. His name resonates with peace and unity, even amongst the Northern religious circle, with whom he enjoys tremendous respect.
“His leadership footprints cut across different segments and sectors of the Northern region, hence why his nomination as the vice-presidential candidate of the APC would indeed boost the chances of the party in the 2023 presidential elections.
“It thus remains the position of the United Arewa Youth Council and the Northern Civil Society Groups that Rev Yakubu Pam indeed fits the Bill as the vice-presidential candidate of the APC. We are convinced of the value addition his nomination would bring to the APC presidential ticket.
“Consequently, the United Arewa Youth Council and the Northern Civil Society Groups are using this medium to inform the general public of the endorsement of Rev Yakubu Pam as the vice-presidential candidate of the APC.
“We also call on the leadership of the APC to see the endorsement of Rev Yakubu Pam as its vice-presidential candidate as well-intentioned to guarantee the much-needed support from the critical constituency he represents”.