President Muhammadu Buhari has stated why some major socio-cultural groups in the country refused to endorse him for a second term in office.
At the weekend, the Northern Elders Forum (Core North), Afenifere (South West), Ohanaeze Ndigbo (South East), Pan Niger Delta Forum (South South) and Middle Belt Forum (North Central) were some of the groups who kicked against the political ambition of the president.
They instead pitched their tent with Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking through Festus Keyamo, the director of communications in his campaign team, the president said the groups refused to endorse him because he refused to use them as middle men between himself and Nigerians.
“In the past, it used to be that some of this groups, they used this platforms as to purport to represent their people and then purport to be middle men between government and their people,” Mr Keyamo said while featuring on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics monitored by POLITICS TIMES yesterday.
“And in so doing, they get patronage from government in the past, and in those patronage they don’t trickle down to their people but they pretend to represent their people.
“They wear big apparel, big beads and go to the villa everyday and say we are the representative of our people, of our regions, whereas this are people who are totally disconnected from their people,” he said.
Buhari’s spokesman who alleged that the leaders of the various group cannot deliver their wards during election challenged them to a popularity contest.
“I want to challenge the so-called groups now, we are still on our campaign rally, let them call a rally the same day we are arriving that region.
“I am challenging them openly, I am challenging the faction of Afenifere, we have not gone to Lagos, Ekiti, I am challenging them to call a Yoruba rally the same day at another venue in Lagos.”
Kayamo also threw the same challenge to Middle Belt Forum, adding that, “the people don’t listen to them (group leaders) again.”