A coalition of Socio-Political Organisations from Southern Kaduna, on Thursday endorsed the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Isah Ashiru Kudan in the February,2023 election and called on its voters to reject the All Progressives Congress (APC) and New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).
The groups after a meeting in Kaduna unanimously agreed to vote for Ashiru Kudan of the PDP against the APC, NNPP, adding that Ashiru would bring development and positive change desired by the People.
The coalition accused Gov Ahmed Nasiru Elrufai led government of not showing interest in managing the security challenges bedeviling the region and “yet dividing the state along religious lines with Muslim Muslim ticket despite the already tension he created in 2019 and his unpopular policies in Kaduna”.
In a statement by the Director Communications, Save Kaduna Group and Co-Convener of the meeting, Mr. Victor Bobai said the five organisations ; The G-12, Save Southern Kaduna Group ,Southern Kaduna Elders Forum, Middle Belt Forum and Arewa Christians Political Forum endorsed Rt Hon Isah Ashiru Kudan at a meeting held in Zee-cool Hotel , Barnawa Kaduna South.
He said the theme of the meeting was “The Search for Credible Gubernatorial Candidate for Kaduna” adding that the present political arrangement in the state has sidelined the Southern Kaduna people.
He said the groups “consider any vote for other political parties in the state will only help the failed APC back to power”.
The statement said after assessing the credentials of the three major candidates of the APC, NNPP and Labour party hopefuls, we came to the conclusion that “the PDP candidate had the fairness capacity, ability and integrity to fix Kaduna better”.
The coalition said Ashiru has committed himself to an inclusive and balance policy of giving everyone a self of belonging hence, if eventually he form government at the state level, “we shall ensure he did win”
Leaders of the group who took turns to speak also accused Elrufai and Mr President of not doing enough to tackle kidnapping and banditry situation in the state.
Reacting swiftly to the groups endorsement, the Co-Convener of the meeting Mr Victor Bobai said it was a loud statement that there is still hope for Kaduna electorates.
He said said, if Ashiru Kudan is elected, he would lead a team that would give Kaduna a breath of fresh air and take Kaduna to a greater height.
“I am particularly happy, this move to secure Ashiru endorsement will keep our people particularly,from the Southern Kaduna very United and hopeful considering what SK has invested in the PDP over the years,we can’t be deceived that the APC and Labour party have something better for us , but rather the APC are trying to deepen our divisions and deliberately use the religious instrument to set our people against themselves in the forthcoming election .
“Today, we put aside all our prejudices for the endorsement of Ashiru Kudan without giving to religion and ethnicity biasness. I profusely thank our leaders across the 12 LGAs who have created this wonderful moment for us to come to the table of brotherhood.
“Though tribes and tongues may differ, in brotherhood we stand.We have seen how individuals who understand the management of diversities have rallied their people for unity, today we have chosen a Candidate that will unite our people and build confidence”
Also speaking during the meeting Dr Lawrence Emmanuel, leader of the Middle Belt Forum said the endorsement was not just a tool to lure the people into voting for Ashiru Kudan into power, but a social contract with the people of the state.
According to him, the PDP has a good working manifesto with a vision for indigenes and non-indigenes alike and such a drive will require the cooperation of everyone to ensure victory for the PDP.
Lawrence said, “my team had paid private visits to the former governor of Kaduna during Salah and got the assurances of his Excellency’s vision which is for a better, newer, liveable and Safe Kaduna which, according to him, Senator Makarfi has laid a very good foundation for PDP”
He reiterated that they are supporting Ashiru because of the confidence they got from Makarfi and the assurances of inclusivity Ashiru will be giving.
Also, Mr Istifanus Audi Nimbia said, what Ashiru’s emergence as better and credible candidate means to Southern Kaduna is not just for campaign, but a united front.
“We have chosen the PDP candidate because of the current situation where the APC wanted an impossible Muslim Muslim ticket while Labour is drumming for an Ndi Igbo Presidency and since they have shown they are very insensitive to a united Nigeria we therefore disqualified their candidates that are contesting” he added .