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Why Atiku, Obi must support Tinubu to move Nigeria forward – Senator Marafa

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) from Zamfara State, Senator Kabiru Marafa, has urged the two major presidential candidates in the 2023…

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) from Zamfara State, Senator Kabiru Marafa, has urged the two major presidential candidates in the 2023 general elections to bury their differences and support the winner in view of the current challenges facing the country.

He made the call at the weekend while fielding questions from State House reporters after a closed door meeting with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Supreme Court had on Thursday affirmed President Tinubu’s victory after dismissing the appeals by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).

The former senator who represented Zamfara Central senatorial district in the 7th and the 8th Nigerian senate (2011 to 2019) said the two respected elders needed to join hands with the president in order to move the country forward.

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Marafa, who once served as the Chairman of the senate joint committee on petroleum resources, said it was high time they considered the plight of the masses after the necessary removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit popularly known as petrol.

“They have exhausted their rights. So, it is over. Let us now move to building Nigeria. Let us now look at the plight of the masses. You know things are very difficult and hard, which is occasioned by the removal of subsidy which is a must. I was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Petroleum Downstream. So, I know what is happening in the area. Also, the rate of the dollar is adding to the difficulties in the country,” he said.

When asked about his message to those that took the president to court, he said: “My prayer and wish for them is to bury their differences and join hands with Mr. President to move the country forward, especially given the problems we have across the nation. So, we need all hands on deck now. It is over. They have done what they are supposed to have done. The constitution gives them inherent rights to challenge the victory. But with the verdict of the apex court, the battle is over.

“Like the president said, he is going to concentrate on his job without giving anybody any opportunity to distract him. So, on their part, I wish they would join hands with Mr. President to move the country forward.

“When I lost the election, I congratulated the person who defeated me. I also promised that the best thing that I can give the people of Zamfara Central is to cooperate with whoever they choose to be their Senator to move the zone forward. Because they elected me twice and I won convincingly in the two elections. “So, if now somebody says I lost, I think I should accept the fact that in any game, there are winners and there are losers. Yesterday, I was the winner and today, I lost. I should accept it and move forward, tomorrow is another day.So, I expect also at national level for our elders to do the same.”

On whether he thought President Tinubu should form a government of national unity, he said: “I am not Mr. President but I like the way you put the question ‘do you think’? I know Mr. President is a politician and he knows the game very well. He is the one to decide to say; now should I go ahead to form a government of national unity like I wanted to or having seen the behavior of the participants, I should abandon it.

“Their behavior from Thursday, I think will determine what the president will do. If they take the judgement with open hearts and extend a hand of friendship to Mr. President, I know the president will want to work with everybody. Governance is something that you need all hands on deck to succeed, especially in a complex country like Nigeria.”

“So, today is my first visit to him, and I made it deliberate because I know the legal tussles by the opposition. The whole scenario came to an end on Thursday and I feel that I can kill two birds with one stone. One is to see him in his office, pray for him and also solicit his prayer for my struggles that I am doing outside.”

“Then, after that, the next thing I discussed was Zamfara State politics. As you all know, he is a practicing politician. So, he knows inside-out of the political terrain in the country, especially Zamfara State. How it all started, he was at the center of everything….So, I took the president through that little history even though he knows, but I had wanted him to share the little history with him.”

“Today, we are where we are and the APC in the state is where it is. We have a lot of followers back home. They all work hard. You will recall that Zamfara State was the first state that the president won during the election. So, I made a case for my people in Zamfara State, especially given the fact that I was the captain who piloted the affairs of the APC in the state. So, I made a case for them, especially in the areas of political patronage.”

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