Fred Ezeh and Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
Grassroots Mobilisers for Buhari (GMB) and 58 other political-support groups have said they have decided to withdraw their support for President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of 2019 presidential elections.
The groups which claimed to have five million registered members comprising transport workers, tricycle and okada operators, marketmen among others said they had lost confidence in the ability of President Buhari to pull Nigeria out of the pity of poverty and underdevelopment.
The group’s coordinator, Yusuf Musa Ardo, told journalists at a press conference in Abuja, that they decided to move their support base to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, because of the obvious failure of the present government.
He said: “We bought into the ‘change agenda’ of Buhari in 2015. We toured Nigeria, campaigning vigorously for his victory. We coordinated other support groups for APC and championed grassroots mobilisation of Nigerians.
“Regrettably, the government we put in place has failed to fulfill the promises it made to Nigerians. (So), it will be unwise to reinforce the failures of this administration.”
The groups said they were unhappy that Nigeria has continued to score low marks, particularly as regards poverty alleviation. “Nigeria’s economy which was the fastest-growing economy in Africa has gone comatose due to mismanagement.
“Nigerians are attacked and killed by unknown gunmen daily, while kidnapping cases (continue to) rise significantly.
“Most worrisome is that Nigeria is now more divided and acrimonious than ever before, with its unity being threatened by nepotism and religious bigotry.
The groups further alleged that: “Unemployment has risen to an alarming level instead of reducing as was promised during 2015 campaigns. Millions of jobs are being lost quarterly, with many SMEs folding up due to unfriendly economic policies and harsh business environment.
“To this end, we have decided to officially renounce our membership of GMB and APC, and have to move our support base to the PDP presidential candidate who is more tested and trusted.”