By Aliyu Isiyaku
It was on Saturday, 5th September, 2020. The NorthEast Atiku Support Groups gathered in Gombe to kick-start what may be the beginning of another round of electioneering campaign by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s 2023 presidential bid, three years away from the election.
The event which took place at the International Hotel Gombe, was graced by big wigs across the Northeast.
Speaking during the event, the coordinator of the group, Isiyaku Babayo PhD, said that the group was established by the Atiku Support Organization in order to canvass support for Atiku in the six States of the Northeast Zone. “It was established to mobilize all political groups established to support Atiku’s 2023 presidential ambition in the NE zone; the groups is promoting the vision and aspirations of Atiku Abubakar ahead of the 2023 general elections”.
According to him, Atiku Abubakar has almost no support from the NE zone, the youth from the zone haven’t been engaged in the political movement of Atiku and that gave birth to the idea from the group to give all and sundry, especially the youth the opportunity to participate and contribute their quota to the success of Atiku Abubakar and PDP come 2023.
He added that, Gombe was chosen to host the dinner because the State is the economic hub of the zone and geographically surrounded by the five states of the zone.
The event was chaired by Sen. Abdul Ningi who in his words said that “Atiku Abubakar remains the best politician to lead the country following his vast knowledge in the country’s economy and political experience and he is the only politician who can lead the country out of its current woes and other challenges yet to be addressed by the present APC led federal government. He challenged people of the North East sub region to consider their own in the choice of a credible candidate come 2023 so that the region can get the presidency for the first time”.
Dr. Sani Yauta who served as the guest speaker said the participation of youths in politics is key in governance which should be encouraged at all levels.
In his presentation titled ‘Enhancing Youth Participation in Politics’ Dr. Yauta stressed that the youths have a significant impact on the political scene of the country.
According to him, the country’s population is about 200 million with the youth constituting about 60 per cent which is a very large number and is easier for them to decide who should be the right candidate.
He also said that in the last general elections conducted in 2019, over 60 per cent of youths registered lamenting however that only about 30 per cent of them came out and voted.
Yauta said that “youths are energetic; let them use the advantage they have and get in to the nook and crannies of the country to enlighten the public on the need for voting the right leaders.”
The Director General of Atiku Support Group (ASO), Alhaji Abubakar Babawo who was at the event said that, the programme was not a campaign but a plea on Atiku Abubakar to come out and contest again in the 2023 presidency.
In his closing remarks, the coordinator of the Gombe State chapter of the Northeast Atiku Support Groups Nigerians need to seat on a round table and discuss the way forward by supporting Atiku to become the next Nigerian president.
Babayo added that, Nigeria is in quagmire, and Atiku Abubakar is the only person that can save the country from sinking further into the abyss.
He lamented that Nigeria under APC administrations has lost respect all over the world. “Our core values have been diminishing since APC government took power from the party, therefore I call on all Nigerian youths to vote out APC at all levels in 2023”, he urged.
It was learned that Sen. Aisha Jummai Alhassan represented by Alh. Abdullahi Ade was the Special Guest of Honour while Hon. Fatima Binta Bello from Gombe represented by the former Women leader, Hajiya Aishatu Yakubu served as the guest of honour.
Among the attendees were, the former Minister of State, Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Abdu Bulama, Special Assistant on Youths and Strategy to HE Atiku Abubakar, Dr. Ahmed Adamu, Director general Atiku Support Organization (ASO), Alh. Abubakar Babawo, Director, Contact and Mobilization ASO, Hon. Murtala Ibrahim and former Gombe PDP women leader, Mole Isifanus Bannet.
Others were the two former speakers of the Gombe State House of assembly, Hon. Inuwa Garba and Hon. Nasiru Abubakar Nono, former member representing Dukku North, Hon. Sa’idu Kawuwa Malala, Hon. Dallami Chairman, former council chairman, Gombe LGA, Hon. Baba Sule, among many others.