A northern socio-political group, the Arewa Good Governance Crusaders wants the All Progressives Congress (APC) to nominate Mr Bola Tinubu as its consensus presidential candidate.
This comes ahead of the ruling party’s presidential primary election to elect a candidate for the 2023 general elections.
Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and chieftain of the APC, has since declared his interest to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari when the latter’s tenure ends next year.
He would, however, contest for the party’s ticket alongside some governors, including Yahaya Bello of Kogi and David Umahi of Ebonyi, and other party leaders eyeing the highest office of the land.
Addressing a news conference on Thursday in Kaduna, the convener of the northern group, Zubairu Mukhtar, proposed that Tinubu be made the party’s consensus candidate to ensure a rancour-free exercise.
He described the former governor as a caring leader who would take the interest of all citizens at heart, irrespective of their ethnic or religious affiliation.
“We urge all stakeholders of the ruling party to adopt Tinubu as APC’s consensus presidential candidate ahead of the 2023 general elections for the good, unity, progress, and economic development of our dear country,” he said.
“We commend the exemplary conduct, statesmanship, and patriotism of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu in ensuring unity, peace, and progress of Nigeria.”
Mukhtar commended Tinubu for cancelling his 70th birthday colloquium in honour of victims of the recent train attack in Kaduna, saying such an action was a rare show of compassion.
He also reacted to the claims that Tinubu’s age could be a disadvantage to effectively running the country if elected as president.
According to the convener, Tinubu’s experience in virtually all aspects of governance will count in giving Nigerians responsive leadership.
He added that the presidential aspirant has lieutenants and proteges with excellent brains spread across the county whom he had groomed to support him in the task to rebuild the nation.
”His (Tinubu’s) show of concern and N50 million donation to victims of Kaduna-Bound train attack all indicate that he will be a good President to all Nigerians and stick his neck for their interest.
”We want to state that he has demonstrated rare solidarity with the people of Kaduna State in ways too numerous to mention. We are aware he had to cancel his 70th birthday colloquium in respect for casualties and families of victims of the bomb attack on Abuja – Kaduna train,” said Mukhtar.
”He said the event shouldn’t hold after due consultations with the people around him and they all agreed with the foresight and thoughtfulness of Asiwaju not to stage the colloquium that has been planned for a very long time.
“We see it as a rare leadership attribute which is needed in a true leader at this material time to confront head-on the heap of challenges waiting to be solved by the next president of this country.”