Before the 2018 general elections, some well-known Northern leaders and forces are taking action to make sure that the region presents a unified presidential candidate.
According to a source who spoke to newsmen he stated that, “Our people have resolved to adopt a consensus candidate for 2023, and the person they have chosen is former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the PDP candidate.”
The source, a senior member of the Northern Elders Forum, claimed that Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the former vice president and presidential candidate for the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), has been under pressure from Northern leaders to withdraw his candidacy.
“I can tell you that our leaders in the North have started taking steps to pressure Senator Kwankwaso to abandon his bid for the presidency in favour of Atiku Abubakar,” the source stated.
Findings within the Kwankwaso camp showed that the former governor of Kano State had resisted pressure and vowed to move forward with his campaign despite it.
According to a source within the NNPP, the former Kano governor “has been inundated with calls and visits from prominent leaders in the North to withdraw his bid for Waziri (Atiku’s traditional title), but he (the former Kano governor) has remained adamant.”
The source claims that Kwankwaso’s reluctance might not be unrelated to the events leading up to his exit from PDP, which those close to him claimed was quite unpleasant.
Due to the way some of Alhaji Atiku’s supporters treated him while he was there, it would be challenging for Madugu (Kwankwaso) to support the PDP, the source said.
“Such a possibility is very remote.” The insider responded, “I think even if he drops his bid, the only person Madugu would back is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu,” when pressed to be more specific about the possibilities available to the former minister.