MEMBERS of the North-East Stakeholders Forum of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have opposed the endorsement of Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai as the party’s vice-presidential candidate by the Tinubu Support Organisation (TSO).
The Director-General of Tinubu Support Organisation, Aminu Suleiman, had announced El-Rufai’s endorsement as the APC VP candidate at a press briefing in Kaduna on Monday.
Suleiman said the endorsement followed a consultative meeting with critical stakeholders of the party in the North-West geopolitical zone.
Explaining why the group endorsed El-Rufai, Suleiman said the North-West has the largest voting bloc in Nigeria and therefore should be given the slot to produce the next Vice President.
However, reacting to the development, the Chairman of the APC North-East Youth Stakeholders Forum, Haruna Sardauna, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, APC National Chairman Abdullahi Adamu and the presidential candidate Bola Tinubu, to reject the endorsement.
Sardauna urged the party stakeholders to focus on the North-East region, for the sake of justice and equity.
He said, “The North-East should be given the slot, considering the sacrifices the region has made for the party in the 2015 and 2019 general elections. North-East APC Youth Stakeholders Forum on behalf of our region wants the party and President Muhammadu Buhari to zone the VP slot to our region unconditionally.
“For President Muhammadu Buhari’s election as Nigeria’s president in 2015 and 2019, the area (North-East) donated more than 70 per cent of their votes in both elections. In our view, it’s time for the North-East to be recognised not only for their role in ousting a sitting President but also for supporting Buhari and the APC’s progressive principles.
“It’s not wrong to say this is our time, and it’s not right to deny this opportunity to our region, morally. Choosing a Vice President from a different region would be political suicide because of the significant amount of votes from the region, especially when Atiku emerged as the PDP’s flagbearer.”
Sardauna added, “It is on the basis of the reality that a son of the region must serve as Vice President in order to secure our region’s bloc votes, we offer this recommendation.
“It is our hope that our dear President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Working Committee of our great party will take these concerns seriously and do the essential for the progress and success of our party and country.”