2019: North won’t vote for one presidential candidate –Yakassai

.Says many people disappointed with Buhari

Elder statesman and founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, has said tha the north will vote for candidates in 2019 based on their capacity to perform.

He noted that unlike in 2015 where religion, ethnicity and other sentiments took center stage, many Northerners will be looking at who can tackle the retinue of problems bedeviling the country, like poverty, unemployment among others.

He told Sunday Telegraph in an interview that, “Each of the main candidates have their own appeal, one thing that is not going to be like before is that the north will not vote for one candidate. Votes in the north in 2019 is going to be split, between the two main candidates, even the smaller ones will get something, but the bulk of the votes will be shared between the two main candidates of President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar.

“Some things that happened before will not happen again, like the issue of religion, the issue of ethnicity and the issue of section, will not be any important factor in determining the outcome of the elections or how people from the north will cast their votes. “Therefore voting will be on appeal for the individual candidates made to the people and not on any sentiments.

“ Many people voted for Buhari because they believed that he would come and solve many of the nagging problems facing the north in particular and Nigeria in general, like the issue of poverty, unemployment, fighting corruption, these are problems people believed Buhari has the solution to them. Perhaps there are some people who still believe in Buhari, but majority that voted for Buhari in the last election with the belief that he would solve their problems in the country now know better. They now know that he doesn’t have the magic wand to solve the problems.

“ Infact there are some that believed that he doesn’t have the ability to solve these problems and therefore they are going to vote, that is if they are going to vote at all for a different candidate because they believe Buhari cannot do anything about the Nigerian situation.

“So I believe many people in the north will vote on their perspective of the two candidates, what they can do for this country or what they believe the candidates can do for them. It will not be the same story again but a different issue.”

Speaking specifically on Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 elections, Dr Yakassai said, “Like Buhari, Atiku has contested elections many times; he was also a lieutenant of Late Shehu Yar’adua. There are lots of supporters of Yar’adua that will see Atiku as their own candidate, because they come from the same political family and they will vote for him.

“Also Atiku himself might have learnt his lessons, where he made a mistake in the past and he would try to correct it. So for me I believe issues that will be in the mind of the people when they come to cast their votes is what the candidates can do, what he or she is capable of doing, that will influence their decision,” he stressed.

He further said that Nigerians are disappointed in President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Not only in the north, but across the whole country are people disenchanted. Go round, ask people, conduct your survey; you will see that many people are disappointed with his performance. It is not a speculation, but a fact. It is no secret, when you ask people they will tell you that they are disappointed, not everyone but certainly there are people who are not disappointed before, but are now disappointed.

“Why we have democracy is for competition with different people offering their own agenda. If you have tested one person, you will also try another at times to see who is the better choice for you.” he said.

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