The Arewa Consultative Forum and the Northern Elders Forum have said that the North will not support President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 election despite the relative success the military is recording in the fight against the Boko Haram sect.
The two groups said they could not change the decision they made sometimes ago on the choice of their presidential candidate. The ACF and NEF had recently expressed their support for the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, saying he was better than Jonathan, who is contesting the next election on the Peoples Democratic Party platform.
But speaking with PUNCH on Thursday, the ACF National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muhammed Ibrahim, dismissed the insinuation that the forum might change its mind because of the appreciable success soldiers are making in dislodging the insurgents from the North-Eastern part of the country.
He said the ACF’s decision remained sacrosanct as far as the candidate to support was concerned. The NEF Deputy Chairman, Dr. Paul Nnongo, explained why the forum would not change its mind.
Nnongo said, “The Northern elders cannot support him not because he is an Ijaw man; we resolved not to support him because he is not performing. He should not have allowed many people to have been killed before he wakes up to his own responsibility.
“We want a competent leader that can stop the genocide occurring in the North. We have yet to understand why it took Jonathan so long before he began to act as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces by now buying equipment for the military. So, we congratulate him for finally waking up to his responsibility after insurgents have killed thousands of innocent people in the country”.
“For no just reason, Jonathan made life too cheap in Nigeria. We, as a result, agreed that Nigeria needs a change; we do not care if Buhari comes from Ijaw land. If another candidate that has the capacity to stop killing in the country hails from Ijaw land, we will support him. Every day, minimum of 100 people are being killed by the insurgents non-stop for two solid years. We don’t want genocide in Nigeria.”