All is now set for the All Progressives Congress to announce a substantive presidential running mate from the north-central zone.
This was after 19 northern states APC Youth Groups and Stakeholders, including north-west and north-east, nominated the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, Rev Yakubu Pam as its preferred number 2 to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The group, which made this known on Thursday at a press conference in Abuja, said it came to the conclusion to zone the ticket to the middle-belt and subsequently settled for Pam after an exhaustive consultation for the purpose of equity, justice and fairness.
According to a statement signed by its convener, Alhaji Abubakar Isah, Secretary Hon Mutazu Kabiru Adamu and the heads of 19 states, the groups said the choice of north central is strategic, a reward for its critical role in the country during elections.
On its reason for backing Pam, the APC youths and stakeholders said the respected Christian cleric is a bridge builder with an extensive network in Northern Nigeria.
The group said he “ is viewed as a trusted ally who hasn’t failed to exhibit sincerity of heart and purpose in his assignment geared towards peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding amongst the various religious and ethnic groupings”.
“We believe such a move it’s not only to reward the north central for its loyalty and cooperation with the rest of the north west but, also the fact that the North Central parades one of the best brains to galvanize the much needed stakeholders’ cooperation in the northern part of the country”, the statement said.
“Consequently the unanimous endorsement of Rev Yakubu Pam is an indication of his level of acceptance in the North West owing to his sterling track record in service and his numerous contributions to peace and tranquility in Northern Nigeria and the country at large.
“Rev Yakubu Pam indeed has garnered administrative experience that spans decades in active service to the country and humanity. This much has been evident in the numerous positions of authority he occupied that includes but not limited to the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the 19 Northern states, to mention but a few.
“The 19 Northern APC Youth Groups and Stakeholders Forum wishes to use this medium to place it on record that the choice of Rev Yakubu Pam as the vice presidential candidate of the APC would indeed bring the needed balance and harmony the party requires to coast to victory at the presidential elections.
“Rev Yakubu Pam is a bridge builder with an extensive network in Northern Nigeria. He is viewed as a trusted ally who hasn’t failed to exhibit sincerity of heart and purpose in his assignment geared towards peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding amongst the various religious and ethnic groupings.
“He also presents a strong credential of loyalty, dedication and patriotism, which in our considered opinion is a functional criteria needed for the Office of the Vice President given the sensitivity of the office.
“We wish to place it on record that Rev Yakubu Pam’s candidature will unite all warring factions in Northern Nigeria, because of the tremendous respect he commands from all and sundry for his numerous contributions to the sustenance of peace and tranquility.
“We have no reservation with regards the ability of Rev Yakubu Pam to be of great asset to the APC during and after the elections because he is reliable and a man of vision and impeccable character, who matches his words with action and one that is never shy to speak power to the truth.
“In the light of the above enumerated facts, we wish to call on all interested parties in the vice presidential slot from North West and North East to shield their ambition and throw their support for Rev Yakubu Pam in the overarching objective of securing electoral victory for the party at the presidential elections”.
The group, therefore, called on the Progressive Governors to in “good conscience support the nomination of Rev Yakubu Pam as the vice presidential candidate of the APC”.
They added that, “This is on the heels that he is from the north central, he is young and energetic; he is a man of repute and character, whose acceptability cuts across religion and ethnicity”.
The 19 Northern APC Youth Groups and Stakeholders, however, urged the leadership of the APC to do all necessary to ensure that Rev Yakubu Pam is nominated as the vice presidential candidate of the party.