The forum of Christian and Muslim Political Leaders from 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, last week endorsed the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as their consensus candidate ahead of the 2023 presidential elections. 

Why it matters 
The endorsement of the PDP flag bearer by the northern forum is coming at a time where Nigeria’s ruling party, the All-Progressive Congress (APC), has more incumbent governors in the region than the opposition (PDP). This is also a big blow to APC’s and other parties’ romance in the north. 

Driving the news 
The resolution was contained in a communique jointly signed by a former deputy governor of Sokoto State and Minister of Water Resources during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mukhari Shagari and D.D. Sheni. 

  • Expressing their reasons for choosing the PDP duo, the group stated that Atiku “is the only candidate among the candidates of the four leading political parties that has the knowledge and experience of managing the country at the presidential level. This gives him the advantage to set the ball rolling from day one.” 
  • Speaking on the APC Muslim Muslim, the forum said “the APC as we all know has fielded the same faith (Muslim-Muslim) ticket which excludes a large demography of Christians who do not feel represented by the ticket. The APC presidential ticket does not promote inclusiveness, unity, religious harmony and cohesion.

State of play 
The forum as with many other political groups who rate “party prowess/popularity” over the “competence of candidates” disregarded the presidential bid of the Labour Party flag bearer, Peter Obi, and the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso for not having a large representation in many states of the country. 

The big picture 
While endorsements from state governors, political stakeholders and mentors in the Nigerian political scene do not guarantee election victory, they go a long way in influencing the choice of voters.

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