THE mouthpiece of the North, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has debunked supporting a specific presidential candidate or aligning with any political party.
ACF stated this at its headquarters in Kaduna yesterday, when it played host to the People’s Trust presidential candidate, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, ahead of the 2019 presidential election.
This was as Olawepo-Hashim vowed that with his over 27 years’ experience in business, where he has invested immensely in infrastructure and human capital, he would build a N4 trillion economy for Nigeria in 10 years, to employ 40 million citizens.
Receiving the presidential candidate alongside other chieftains of the forum, Acting ACF Chairman Alhaji Musa Liman Kwande said: “We do not align ourselves to any individual or political party.”
The ACF chair said what the forum wants to see in presidential candidate is a genuine, very positive and pragmatic policies and measures to fight corruption, insecurity, impunity, anarchy and a host of other disingenuous activities which, if not effectively contained, would certainly be the bane of the nation’s progress and growth.
According to Kwande, “ACF, as you are aware, is a non-partisan, non-political, non-religious body devoid of any ethnic or tribal sentiments. Thus, its status as the foremost northern socio-cultural organisation, which tries to promote peace, unity, justice and the rule of law, with the main thrust to promoting and protecting the interest and development of North and its people, within the context of one indivisible nation, is not in question.
“In our non-partisan disposition, we do not align ourselves to any individual or political party. Rather, we strive to weigh the scale on what is good for the North in particular and the overall good of the nation.
“As we hold the belief that every aspirant to the office of the President of our great country should have an articulate and thorough blueprint that will catapult the country to be among the comity of great nations, we expect to see genuinely, the very positive and pragmatic policies and measures put in place to fight against corruption, insecurity, impunity, anarchy and a host of other disingenuous activities which, if not effectively contained, would certainly be the bane of our progress and development as a people and one cohesive nation.
“I understand that you have availed yourself to contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2019, under the platform of the People’s Trust (PT). I feel quite enthused to acknowledge the emergence of new breed politicians like your humble self vying for the various elective offices in our nascent democratic dispensation, which, by and large, has the potential to engender healthy political process as we strive to consolidate on the achievements recorded so far.
“It is, therefore, significant under the prevailing situation in our nationhood, to witness-quite-a prolific array of political formations and platforms under which each and every Nigerian can have expression. We therefore welcome your emergence of political parties and your good self as the presidential candidate of one of the new parties, the People’s
The forum appealed to leaders of various political parties to ensure they live by the letters and spirit of the Abuja Peace Accord put up by the National Peace Committee under the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, which they all signed and pledged to uphold.
The PT presidential candidate, who hails from Kebbi State, North-West Nigeria, harped on the need to unite Nigerians and build a virile economy that can support the nation’s growing population.
According to him, “Nigeria has been badly divided more than ever before. So, our plan is to stop insecurity and return the country to a united nation like it was at independence. Though, North is the largest part of the country, but we must unite with smaller units who feel threatened, and mend the broken bones.”
On the economy, Olawepo-Hashim said there was too much hunger in the land because the nation’s economy was too small to take care of its population.
“With my over 27 years’ experience in business, where I have invested immensely in infrastructure and human capital, I have the experience to build the biggest economy that can take care of our population. I will build a N4 trillion economy for Nigeria in 10 years, which will employ 40 million citizens,” he said.