Fifty-nine support groups formerly rooting for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election have made a U-turn and endorsed former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for president in the 2019 polls.
Atiku, who is presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is Buhari’s main rival in the election.
At a press conference in Abuja, the groups explained that they decided to back the PDP candidate because the current administration “has failed”, TheCable reports .
Yusuf Ardo, national coordinator of the Grassroots Mobilisers for Buhari (GMB), accused the Buhari government of failing to appoint youth.
He said the group has over five million members and that GMB toured the length and breadth of Nigeria for Buhari in 2015.
“We toured the country and campaigned for the emergence of the current APC led federal government. This forum coordinated all support groups for APC and championed Grassroots Mobilizations of Nigerians,” he said.
“Sequel to the foregoing, we are sad, that the government we put in place has failed and continues to fail our people; we cannot continue to reinforce failures.
“How can we have a federal cabinet without a single youth? A government that does not take the youths into account is a dying government; the future belongs to us, the young people.
“Today, our country is faced with legions of challenges, our economy that was the fastest-growing in Africa has gone comatose under the present government that has shown unprepared and completely clueless.
“Unemployment has risen to an alarming level, instead of creating three million jobs per year as promised during 2015 campaigns; millions of jobs are being lost quarterly, with many companies folding up.”
Jargo said he believed under Atiku, the economy will be revived unlike the “misfortune” of Buhari.
“We strongly believe that Atiku will ensure diversification of the economy through Agriculture, adequate supply of power, massive industrialization, thereby creating employment for our teaming youths,” he said.
“Our predicament and future of the youth in Nigeria is highly threatened, that is why we have resolved one hundred percent (100%) to support His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, GCON, come 2019 for our large interest in this country.”
When contacted, Festus Keyamo, spokesman of the reelection campaign of Buhari, said: “They are not genuine pro-Buhari groups. They are mercenaries looking for what to eat.”