MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
The Arewa Youths Progressive Alliance has dissociated itself from a statement widely credited to the NNPP Presidential candidate, where he claimed that Northern voters will only vote for Northern presidential candidates.
According to the spokesman of the popular and highly influential Arewa group, Alhaji Sambo Galadima; “The North is neither anti-progress nor xenophobic against other Nigerians.”
In a statement issued in Kaduna, Galadima said that the impression created by Mr. Kwankwanso during his appearance in a Channels Tv program; “Politics Today” is disrespectful of the North and misrepresents the true characters and orientation of an average Northern voter.
According to the statement; “7Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso’s utterances portray the North as retrogressive and the average Northern voter as insensitive and unconcerned about the sufferings of Nigerians and the high rate of insecurity and economic woes bedeviling Nigeria, and rather concerned about having “fellow Northerner and fellow Muslim” perpetuate themselves in power”.
Nothing can be farther from the truth. The Northerner experiences the same level of frustration with the state of governance in the country that the average Nigerian from any part of Nigeria experiences and wishes like every Nigerian that things improve for the better and that the most capable and most prepared individuals take charge of governance at different levels, including the presidency of the country, for the betterment of Nigeria.”
Speaking further, he argued that the North has never been immune from the various troubles bedeviling Nigeria, just because a Northerner is the President nor has the North fared any better in infrastructure or living standards merely because a Northerner or a Muslim is the President of the country.
“The former governor of Kano State insults the North by portraying us as some insensitive group of people without the capacity to think for ourselves. This is not true. He sends the impression out there, that our votes are owned by some elites and that it is these elites who will decide how we will vote in every election. If that was true in the past, that is set to change, because we are not slaves. We are capable of dreaming and holding strongly to our dreams. We are capable of working for and participating actively in political activities, independently and with the aim of bringing about the kind of government that shall serve the best interest of the average Nigerian.”
“In the last seven years, more than 100,000 Northerners have been killed by bandits and terrorists, thousands of our daughters, wives, mother’s and sisters have either been raped, abducted or forcefully married out. Our farms are lying fallow and our harvests haven’t been poorer. Yet, a Northerner is the President. We voted for this Northerner, not because he is a Northerner, but because we believed he had the best of intentions and had the capacity to turn things around for good, for the benefit of all Nigerians. But, we are disappointed.”
He assured that the North shall vote in line with what they consider the best for Nigeria at this time and in the future.
“We want to assure fellow Nigerians that Northern Nigeria is not some kind of slave colony, where some elites drag us by the neck to vote on the basis of sectionalism or religion. We shall vote for the best candidates who hold the best promise to recharge Nigeria and get her working again, because, like every responsible citizen, we want the best interest of our country and we want a brighter future for our children.
Recall that, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, a former Minister of Defence had said in a recent TV appearance that he would not accept to be a running mate to Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party, because the North can only vote for fellow Northerners and that a Southeast candidate cannot win the presidency. He has come under fire from a cross section of Nigerians over this statement.