Northern coalition asks Buhari, Atiku to stop seeking election in 2019, wants younger Nigerians to take office
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNGs) has met in Kaduna state asking President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who are above 70 years, to stop contesting the presidency of the country in 2019.
The Punch reports that the group said this in a communique it issued after the meeting of its members on Monday, May 22 saying leaders who should not run again are those who actually put the country in its current sorry state.
The coalition said it wants younger leaders to get Nigerians to their expected Promised Land.
The report said the coalition include over 30 groups including the Nastura Ashir Sharif ‘s Arewa Citizens Action for Change); Shettima Yerima’s Arewa Youth Consultative Forum; Aminu Adam’s Arewa Youth Development Foundation; Alfred Solomon’s Arewa Students Forum; Abdul-Azeez Suleiman-led Northern Emancipation Network and the Northern Youth Vanguard led by Joshua Viashman, form the coalition.
Speaking after the meeting, Shettima Yerima, its leader, said even though the two politicians have the right to contest Buhari and Atiku, it was left for Nigerians to decide their fate.
“We advise him (Buhari) that we still have people within our generation who have integrity who are very competent and also have the capacity to lead.
“We are advising him not to contest but if he chooses to go ahead to contest, Nigerians will go ahead to decide. This is our own opinion and advice to somebody whom we feel is a father to us. Anybody above 70 years should not contest.”
But in its reaction, the presidency reportedly challenged the CNG to cite the section of the nation’s constitution that stipulates that those above 70 years cannot contest the presidential seat.
Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesperson, noted that the country was governed by law and that nobody’s rights could be trampled upon.
“Let them tell us the section of the constitution that stops those above 70 years from contesting. As you know, the country is governed by law and the President has not breached any law by showing interest in the race.
“If they want to contest, they are free to come out and do so. The President is not stopping anybody from contesting against him,” Shehu said.
The report said Atiku could not be reached as calls to Paul Ibe, his media aide could not go through.