Different groups from major regional blocs in the country have come together, under the auspices of Joint Progressive Action Group (JPAG), to demand that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, include a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, in his campaign arrangements.
With the demand, they hoped “Atiku assembles a formidable campaign team that includes such individuals who are not only fearless but that also have a history of having stood with the people in their darkest hours and spoken for them even at the risk of their own personal safety, that of their families and their comfort when many were quiet and hid in fear in the face of tyranny”.
The groups, in a statement signed by Chief Kola Adepoju, Alhaji Abdullahi Shehu, Chief Obioma Okereafor and Apostle Horyen Pwajok for Yoruba Alliance Group (YAG), Arewa Renewal Mandate Group (ARMG), South East Peoples’ Union (SEPU) and the Middle Belt Coalition for Progress (MBCP) respectively, urged Atiku to disregard the Arewa Youth Integrity Forum (AYIF) which has threatened to mobilize against him if he associated his campaign with Chief Femi Fani-Kayode.
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“It is on record that while Fani-Kayode has stood with the oppressed and victims of tyranny everywhere in the country irrespective of their ethnic background or religious beliefs, the likes of AYIF and their leaders have never been known to speak up when it mattered most,” they said.
The statement read in part: “As we enter into the season of high wire politicking, the experience of Nigerians in the hands of the current government at the centre is something that makes citizens look up to Atiku and his team to rescue us from the tyranny and economic woes of the day even as we hope he assembles a formidable campaign team that includes such individuals who are not only fearless but that also have a history of standing with the people in their darkest hours even at the risk of their own personal safety, that of their families and their comfort when many were quiet and hid in fear in the face of tyranny.
“We therefore call on Atiku to be highly sensitive of the fact that the ruling party is already setting up a very ferocious campaign team that would need to be matched facts for facts and figures for figures without fear. Atiku’s team would not need to be afraid of showing in factual analysis the failure of the current government in curtailing the orgy of carnage that has become a daily affair in our national life but also sell his (Atiku) agenda to the citizens effortlessly.
“Following the well-documented history of harassment of political opponents and institutions by government of the day, it will be wise for Atiku to go for those who have proved that they cannot be silenced, intimidated or even run away should the heat become unbearable at any point during the campaign, as may be expected.”