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Why North Dumped Atiku

THE perceived sins of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar against northern leaders during his first term in office played a major part in the decision of the region to turn away from him in spite of the Mallam Adamu Ciroma-led Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF) to prop him up as the region’s consensus candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Saturday Tribune’s investigation revealed that despite spirited attempts of the so-called “nine wise men” to appeal to the sentiments of the region using PDP zoning argument, the people shunned the Turaki Adamawa in Thursday’s primary election in favour of President Goodluck Jonathan because they have not forgotten his insult on northern leaders.

Specifically, it was gathered that prominent people in the North worked against the election of Atiku over his criticism of northern elite during a Northern Economic Summit public lecture in Arewa House, Kaduna, while he was serving as vice president.

In an apparent effort to drum up support for the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, during the lecture, he blamed the poverty and underdevelopment of the region on the pursuit of self interest rather than the people’s interest by the leaders.

Atiku accused northern elite of piling up money in pits and under their beds while the rate of poverty among ordinary people of the region continued to soar.

According to Saturday Tribune sources, “Atiku came to Arewa House to abuse our leaders in their presence when he knows that in the North, we revere our leaders. Nobody has forgiven him since then.”

They were also miffed by his privatisation exercise which he spearheaded as they believed that he carried out the campaign for the benefit of Southerners rather than the North, his primary constituency.

The former vice president was also never forgiven for other comments he made which appeared to hurt the sensibilities of the North, including his declaration that even though the North was his primary constituency, he would never be tempted to use his position as vice president to feather his political nest.

-Tribune

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