A coalition of Northern leaders have stated their position in the struggle for a suitable presidential pair for APC Presidential Candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. They maintained that balancing regional lines in the choice for a Vice President is key to the Party's victory in 2023.

The meeting which was organised to engage the presidential candidate of APC, Senator Bola Tinubu and  stakeholders in the party also outlined the advantages of considering a Christian VP Candidate from the Northeast. They opined that Northeast in all political consideration deserves the VP ticket, otherwise the party may be unable to capture the bulk Christian votes in the North and South.

The meeting witnessed several deliberations and discussions on the overall political situations in the country, as well as the bothering challenges of a suitable Vice presidential Candidate in the ruling party that accommodates both regional and religious considerations. According to the Coalition, the need to consider a VP Candidate from the Northeast is paramount and unequivocally imminent to the victory of APC in the coming polls. 

They stated that religion and regional politics has remained a basic parameter which significantly influences voter's decision especially with the current realities in Nigeria. They adviced APC on a rethink on it's proposed muslim-muslim ticket, stressing that it is a decoy that has been created to endanger the party to doom.  "APC may not get the bulk votes it desire in the north, as a result of the strongholds of oppositions in the north, except it considers a Christian VP candidate". We all know that Muslims in the North will slide behind the PDP presidential Candidate, Atiku Abukakar, and Rabiu Kwankwaso of NNPP will also grab a chunk of votes in the north through religious sympathy, not undermining the political influence of Action Alliance Party Candidate Hamza Al-Mustapha.

The question now is, where would the bulk Christian votes go after the bulk Muslim votes have been shared? "Although it is clear, the bulk Christian votes can only be captured if the ruling party identifies a Christian VP from the northeast. On the other hand, APC may end up without the bulk Christian vote if it maintains the proposed muslim-muslim ticket. This explains that APC will loose on religious grounds and also be swayed out on regional considerations.

We all know that the Southsouth, Southeast and Southwest would throw supports only behind a presidential candidate who considers their religion and not a candidate that neglects religious and regional balances. The coalition however warned APC against adopting strategies which are sponsored by enemies within the party to cause confusions, controversies and eventual failure in the coming elections. 

They announced that the 2023 elections will not go the usual way especially with the current digital e-voting system, which significantly reduces the rate of vote manipulations. Although the coalition of Northern leaders also acknowledged the challenges facing the party and informed Nigerians that Taraba state was indeed the destination for the right choice of a Running Mate for Tinubu when looking towards the northeast. 

They however suggested the distinguished nobility of Chief Ezekiel Afunkoyo, a Taraba state APC Chieftain who has maintained an outstanding track record as a devout Security Expert, an Investment Strategist, a seasoned Diplomat and a grassroot Mobiliser. Afunkoyo has versatile skills, certifications and the required wealth of experience needed to support the growth and development of the party.

He is from the Jukun tribe of Kwarrafa that cuts across over 7states in the north and especially Taraba State where he hails from. Analysts have stated that with a VP candidate in the person of Afunkoyo for APC, victory is assured. They stated that his affluence, affiliations, knowledge and capacity will indeed compliment excellently in alliance with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Ezekiel is currently the Chairman of the Board of Management of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital(NAUTH).

He is a 3times Governorship Aspirant in Taraba State and also a Member of the Presidential Defence Think-tank Committee. His role towards the growth and sustenance of APC as the ruling party cannot be overemphasized.  Ezekiel has several visionary plans for Nigeria, especially in the economic and agricultural sector. He has outlined prospective initiatives on monetary, fiscal, trade, immigration and consumer protection reforms which will enable businesses to strive in fruition. Afunkoyo will also improve healthcare grants, educational grants and expand the basic health care provisional funds.

In areas of insecurity, Afunkoyo as a Security Expert will exploit his wealth of experience by engaging an immediate rapid response through dialogues, international supports and citizens inclusions through adequate intelligence and national defence tactics. He has held several appointments and represented Nigeria at international functions and forals, some of which includes, the Oil and Gas Conference in Ravenna Italy, the International Conference for Security Experts held in Abu Dhabi, the Conference on Poverty Eradication in Africa held at Lebreville, Gabon. 

Afunkoyo had also represented Nigeria at the ECOWAS Expert Draft Committee Meeting on Child Trafficking in Ghana, led the Team that evacuated Nigerian Refugees and Prisoners in Bangkok, Thailand as Member of the Joint Expert Training on Immigration Programme in Netherlands. He also represented Nigeria at the Commonwealth Youth Forum in UK, after which he was appointed as Secretary (Security), Christian Pilgrimage to Israel.

As a grassroot Mobilizer, He has sponsored massive campaigns and supports for APC, which has improved the recognition of the party across Nigeria and particularly in the North. The coalition upholds that the suggestion of Afunkoyo from the Northeastern region as VP Candidate was premised on several immeasurable certainties which defines him as a loyal and vibrant running mate to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

He is indeed a bridge between the old and the young generation in Nigeria, as he satisfies the required age bracket for a young and devout Vice President. He has over 20years of experience in public service and has all the qualities required to partner APC Presidential Candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. With a Christian presidential pair from Northeast, votes from the North will be divided across religions lines which will authomatically assist APC in having a block of Christian votes from the north. 

With Asiwaju Tinubu having a block Christian vote already from the north and yet sharing the odds of Muslim votes with other Muslim Candidates across opposition parties, his victory is assured. In this regards, Asiwaju will clear South west, South South and also a reasonable percentage of the southeast vote, although with his Labour party counterpart.

However, the coalition reiterated that the ruling party is at a crossroad and any decision made without objective consultations will either mar or make the party.


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