Former Speaker Yakubu Dogara has endorsed Atiku Abubakar for president, marking the latest fallout from the Muslim-Muslim ticket of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima.
Mr Dogara, a member of Mr Tinubu’s All Progressives Congress, has been among the top voices against the APC’s failure to balance its ticket in line with Nigeria’s evenly split Muslim and Christian demography.
Mr Dogara joined other members of the Forum of Christian and Muslim Political Leaders from the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to adopt Mr Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
They described him as a consensus candidate for the 2023 election at a meeting of leaders and delegates from all over the northern region, which included religious leaders, women and youth organisations that took the decision in Abuja on Friday at the Atiku Abubakar Hall of Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre.
The forum adopted the report of the IRS technical committee led by a former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mohammed Umara Kumalia, and Nunge Mele, a senior lawyer.
The northern Christian and Muslim leaders had on October 8 set up the committee to recommend a pan-Nigerian platform to adopt in the 2023 presidential election.
The resolution was contained in a communique jointly signed by Mukhari Shagari, a former deputy governor of Sokoto, and D.D. Useni, water resources minister under President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The endorsement came days after a fissure emerged between Mr Dogara and Babachir Lawal, the former federal cabinet secretary who had abruptly endorsed Peter Obi for president. Mr Dogara and other members of the northern Christian caucus said they were not carried along in Mr Lawal’s decision.