A former Presidential candidate and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Kingsley Moghalu, has openly criticized the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, for his statement instigating for a northern President.
Moghalu made this assertion on Sunday, via a series of tweets, in the aftermath of Atiku’s statement that Northerners need to vote for him rather than a Yoruba or Igbo candidate because he’s a Pan-Nigerian of northern extraction that has built bridges across the country.
Atiku made the remarks while responding to a question posed to him by the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, during an Interactive Session With Arewa Joint Committee held on Saturday in Kaduna State.
When Baba-Ahmed asked Atiku why Northerners should vote for him, the PDP presidential candidate replied, “What the average Northerner needs somebody who’s from the north and also understands that part of the country and has been able to build bridges across the country. This is what the Northerner needs, it doesn’t need a Yoruba or Igbo candidate, I stand before you as a Pan-Nigerian of northern origin.”
In his response, Moghalu expressed his disappointment at Atiku’s stance which he said was capable of heating up the polity ahead of the 2023 elections.
He said, “I was very disappointed to view the video clip of H.E. Atiku Abubakar @atiku , a former Vice-President of Nigeria, telling an audience in Kaduna that what the North needs is a northerner to be President, and not a Yoruba or Igbo candidate.
“I have a lot of respect for Atiku who, despite his flaws (which all the other leading contenders also have) ,I have always regarded as a truly cosmopolitan politician in our country.His reference to his “building bridges” across the country does not negate his clear message
“That message was a direct appeal to divisive ethnic sentiment and a denigration of the largest ethnic groups in Southern Nigeria. I think he should withdraw the statement and apologize to Nigerians for it.
“All candidates in the 2023 presidential election must avoid ethnic or other divisive sentimental appeals.”