15th March, 2011
ACNâ€™s presidential candidate, Nuhu Ribadu, has declared that he was prepared to make any sacrifice in the interest of the nation.
â€œI am ready to make any sacrifice in the interest of our dear country and region,â€ Ribadu told newsmen in Kaduna, shortly after addressing the Arewa Coalition for Action Change (ACAC) presidential talk show.
He explained that he joined politics out of the desire to serve the people and the nation contrary to insinuations that he was an agent to any influential Nigerian.
Ribadu said that his decision was also fueled by his love for a generational and qualitative change in the life of the country.
The flag bearer charged the youth to utilise the current opportunity offered them by democracy to position themselves and bring about the kind of change they envisaged for themselves and the nation.
He spoke against the backdrop of selecting an acceptable presidential candidate of northern extraction to wrestle power from the PDP.
Ribadu had earlier told the coalition that he was not granted pardon by President Goodluck Jonathan and had not met him since he returned to the country.
â€œI left because of security reasons and threats to my life and I returned on my own as a free man and not a criminal.
â€œI never met President Jonathan since my return and I have nothing to do with Obasanjo.
â€œI will also never betray my people and country,â€ he emphasised.
Ribadu added that his passion was driven by his strong belief in God and the good virtues of hard work, honesty, commitment, discipline, selfless service and patriotism bequeathed to the country by its founding fathers.
While urging the youth to support him for the change, the candidate pledged to eradicate poverty and insecurity, provide social amenities with emphasis on education and infrastructure.
â€œI am a proud northerner, but not an advocate of zoning. Even the PDP that adopted it in her constitution had jettisoned the policy as part of their failed promises.
â€œPDP show of appreciation to kindness is punishment, but your support can make all the difference in our lives now and beyond.â€
On ACNâ€™s Muslim-Muslim ticket, Ribadu said his choice of Chief Fola Adeola was based on â€œproven credibility, competency, experience and the need to blend his public service with a private sector person.
â€œThe choice was therefore deliberate and carefully done not based on religious or ethnic considerations because Gowon and his deputy were Christians, late Azikiwe/Awolowo, Buhari/Idiagbon and Abiola/Kingibe succeeded during their times.
â€œIt is time we collectively put these divisive tendencies aside and forge ahead as a progressive country.
The ACAC BOT Secretary General, Mr. Mohammed Maigari, had earlier described the event as one of series of dialogues organised by the organisation in the last one year toward national unity and growth.
â€œWe (ACAC) have resolved to bring change and good governance in this country with our sweat and blood in collaboration with other regional youth bodies,â€ Maigari said.
Similarly, in his closing remarks, the ACAC National Chairman, Alhaji Usan Salisu, vowed that the youth would bring change by all legal means and urged members to remain steadfast on their course.
He thanked all the presidential candidates and the delegates for honouring their inivitation as well as the media and security agencies for ensuring its success.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that all the four presidential candidates of northern extraction featured at the forum.
They included ANNPâ€™s Ibrahim Shekarau, NTPâ€™s John Dara, CPCâ€™s Muhammadu Buhari and ACNâ€™s Nuhu Ribadu, in that order.