The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, on Tuesday endorsed the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari, ahead of Saturday’s presidential election.
Acting chairman of the National Executive Committee of the ACF, Musa Kwande, made the disclosure at the forum’s secretariat in Kaduna.
Kwande said the forum, being aware that two prominent Northerners are in the race for the presidency, had to look at their track records and achievements before taking a stand.
According to him, the strides by the Buhari administration to improve and re-position the nation economically as well as its achievements in combating insurgency led to the forum’s decision to stand by him.
He said, “Consequent upon the contributions of the incumbent government to the economic and infrastructural development and the government’s achievement in combating insurgency and other insecurity problems bedevilling the country, ACF believes President Muhammadu Buhari deserves a second term.”
The forum however urged politicians and their supporters to avoid all forms of violence, before, during and after the elections.
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) is a political and cultural association of leaders in Northern Nigeria formed in 2000 which has considerable influence in the political scene. (Arewa means “Northern” in Hausa, the primary language of the region.) The forum is a successor to the Northern People’s Congress, which collapsed after the coup of 1966. The ACF has been associated with the Arewa People’s Congress (APC), a militant group set up to protect the interests of the Hausa-Fulani people in the north. However, the forum is committed to democratic processes within the Federal constitution.
On 8 August 2001 the ACF announced that it was forming three teams to visit the 19 states of the North and Abuja, to be led by All People’s Party (APP) leader Olusola Saraki, ACF Chairman M.D. Yusufu and Lt. Gen Jeremiah Useni. The goal was to meet and discuss common goals with state governors and other leaders. The group met a cool reception in Jos, Plateau State from members of the Middle Belt Forum, who felt that they would be marginalized in a forum dominated by northerners.
In August 2001 the forum recommended that former Heads of State, Generals Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar defend themselves against allegations made against them at the Human Rights Investigations Commission, sitting in Abuja, and said the ACF was conducting an independent investigation.
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