The attributes of detribalization and political experience have been identified as very pertinent qualifications required of anyone who should emerge as Nigeria’s president come 2019.
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State gave the prescription on Tuesday when he received Alhaji Attahiru Bafawa and his campaign team at the Government House, Abakaliki.
Coming at the heels of growing criticism against President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointments and response to other nagging issues of national unity, Umahi implied that only a leader who regarded the entire country as his primary constituency can bring the desired change in the overall affairs of the nation.
He described Bafarawa as a man of great character, humility and attractive personality who achieved so much in Sokoto State as Governor.
The Governor added that although all the 14 Peoples Democratic Party aspirants for presidency were all exceptional and qualified, Bafarawa had a wealth of experience that marked him distinct, having served as governor for eight years in Sokoto State, replete with indelible landmarks
He further described as commendable the aspirant’s idea of documenting his past achievements and vision for Nigeria, adding that such was an innovation worthy of emulation by other politicians in the country.
Umahi, moreover, stressed that the detribalized nature of Bafarawa epitomized in his free association and concrete mentorship of persons among the Igbos and other tribes across Nigeria was a veritable boost for the success of his ambition.
Umahi said: “Detribalization is very important and you have scored some goals by having your overall manager from a different tribe.
“It shows your heart of accommodation and that is what we are doing in our State in appointments and sponsorship of pilgrims to the Holy land for the both religions.
“I want to say that we accept your person and spiritually, you are endeared to our hearts.”
Bafarawa, while delivering his mission statement noted that the main reason behind his presidential ambition was to entrench real democratic principles in Nigeria, adding that he has been a true democrat having been in civil politics since 1976.
He regretted that the present leadership under Buhari has displayed more of coercive military qualities rather than democratic principles and pledged to bring his wealth of experience to bear on the economy, health, education and other key sectors of the country.
While pledging to support anyone who finally emerges as the party’s flag bearer, come 2019, Bafarawa sued for caution in choosing national leaders who have the interest of the country at heart.
Enumerating his achievements as former Governor of Sokoto State as well as his mentorship programmes cutting across all tribes in Nigeria, he commended Governor Umahi for appointing other tribes into his cabinet in the State, adding that such an attitude was one of the sure ways of keeping the country united.
Bafarawa emphasized: “I have joined politics to serve and not to make money.”
Earlier, the National Deputy Director-General of the Bafarawa Campaign Organisation, Ben-Collins Ndu, had described Bafarawa as a bridge builder, a lover of Ndi-Igbo, a man of peace, amiable, responsive, humble and accessible, a believer in the urgent need to restructure Nigeria.