One of the umbrella bodies of herdsmen in Nigeria, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, says it will be easy for All Progressives Congress presidential hopeful, Bola Tinubu, to win the hearts of northerners in the 2023 election because he is well-accepted in the region.
Spokesman for the group, Saleh Alhassan, stated this in a chat with The PUNCH on Monday.
He, however, noted that his organisation would not endorse any presidential aspirant till after party primaries have been conducted and candidates have emerged.
Alhassan also said as far as the Miyetti Allah is concerned, Nigeria’s next President can emerge from either the Southern or Northern parts of the country.
The Miyetti Allah spokesman stressed that the cattle breeders would only support “a President that would address the challenges facing the herders in this country. A President that won’t implement policies that would be hostile to our business”.
When asked whether his organisation would support the presidential ambition of the ex-governor of Lagos State, Alhassan said, “Tinubu has invested politically; if his party deems him fit to fly, we will demand his agenda to address the challenges facing the pastoralists. We will also demand the agenda of other candidates.”
“Tinubu does not have a problem in the north, a lot of our elders are with him because he supported (President Muhammadu) Buhari but our organisation’s position, for now, is that we are not endorsing anybody yet for President in 2023 until after the party primaries,” he added.
Similarly, a former Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Jigawa State, Ya’u Haruna, said that Fulani communities were now being enlightened on the 2023 general elections.
“We are also scanning the people showing interest in the presidential seat with Bola Tinubu leading because he was the one that intervened in our matter while he was governor of Lagos and we had crisis in Benue.
“Tinubu came all the way, got us on a round table and reconciled us, so, someone who could do this at that time, we believe can do more when he is at the helms of affairs,” the News Agency of Nigeria quoted Haruna as saying.
With talks about power shift from the north to the south becoming intense, the Northern Elders Forum had warned the 17 Southern Governors to stop “threatening” the north for Presidency in the 2023 elections.
The PUNCH had reported that NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said the north has the numerical strength and won’t play the “second class position” in the next presidential election.