Ethnic slur dents Nigeria poll preparations


Atiku Abubakar

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE presidential candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has aggravated ethnic strains in Nigeria.

This after he urged Northerners to vote for him instead of electing politicians from other tribes.

Northerners are mostly Muslim and the region is dominated by the Fulani and Hausa, the latter which is the biggest in the West African country.

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) added that the sentiments attributed to Abubakar, who is from the Northeast geopolitical zone, was breach of the National Peace Accord he recently signed.

Former Vice President Abubakar was quoted at an interactive session in the northern Kaduna this past weekend as telling his audience not to support a Yoruba or Igbo candidate.

This is in reference to presidential rivals Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party’s Peter Obi.

“What the average Northerner needs is somebody who’s from the north and also understands that part of the country and has been able to build bridges across the country,” Abubakar is quoted.

“This is what the Northerner needs, it doesn’t need a Yoruba or Igbo candidate, I stand before you as a Pan-Nigerian of northern origin,” Abubakar siad.

Willy Ezugwu, CNPP Secretary General, denounced the comments.

“Inciting people of one’s ethnicity or religious extraction against others after signing National Peace Accord with a pledge to commit to campaigns based on their programmes and the capacity to deliver on campaign promises is a national disservice that must be condemned,” he said.

Ezugwu argued in the last seven years of the APC administration, the ethno-religious gap in the country had widened.

“To have an ethnic and religious minded President in 2023 will be worse than the worst known natural disaster ever in Nigeria,” he said.

“It is time to bring about national healing as any form of exclusion will take Nigeria back to the kind of life in the stone age,” Ezugwu added.

He maintained life in Nigeria was already “poor, nasty, brutish and short.”

“We cannot afford to go lower as a country as any further descent will spell doom for us as a country and further jeopardize our oneness as Nigerians,” Ezugwu added.

Presidential polls are set for February 25 in Africa’s most populous country, estimated at 217 million people.

– CAJ News



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