A former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Prof Pat Utomi and other eminent Nigerians have launched a new political pressure group, ‘The Compatriots’, ahead of the 2023 general election.
Attah, who is the chairman of the group, at a press conference in Abuja, said it was out to work with relevant socio-political stakeholders to reinvent Nigeria by promoting national cohesion, good governance, peace and prosperity.
He said the core national values of the group include to work for a: “Strong and united Nigeria; equity, justice and fairness for every citizen; realization of full potentialities of every Nigerian and protection of the rights of every Nigerian wherever he/she decides to reside.”
Attah said despite the members’ varied political or ethnic backgrounds, their utmost desire is to work for good governance.
“Members of this group have decided that, though tribe and tongue may differ, we do not have to sing discordant tunes,” he said.
He said the group was not out to support any candidate but good governance, peace and prosperity.
He also said the group would engage whoever emerges as the country’s president with the message that “it can no longer be business as usual. Nigeria has to change and there must be justice, equity and fairness for all.”
Deputy Chairman of The Compatriots, Dr. Baba-Ahmed, said the group is non-partisan but to promote active participation in political processes and electoral matters.
He said, “Our role will be to make sure that we help to create a conducive atmosphere that will facilitate the emergence of a leader who is voted by Nigerians, credible persons and a peaceful environment.
“We don’t have an interest in who becomes the Nigerian president, except to say that we hope the person will be a good leader that is supported by majority of Nigerians.”
Members of The Compatriots present at the press conference included Hajiya Inna Ciroma, Dr. Kabir Chafe, Maj. Gen. Zamani Lekwot (rted.), Maj. Gen. Saleh Maina (rted.), Nella Adem Rabana SAN, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, Amb. Goodnews Igali, Hon. Nkoyo Toyo, Senator Sefiu Adegbenga Kaka, Prof. Pat Utomi, Alhaji Mohammed Murtala Aliyu and Rev. Bitrus Dangiwa, among others.