Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), yesterday, said that there was never a time it rejected Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state as running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It also said the groups remains neutral in political matters and has never interfered on political matters as a coalition, except on individual basis.
CNG, in statement by its Director of Strategic Communication, Mr. Samaila Musa, in Abuja, said the CNG is resolutely committed to protecting the interest of Northern Nigeria without derailing from its ideals of neutrality, good governance and quality leadership.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has been drawn to media publications going round that the CNG has said ‘Okowa can’t guarantee PDP victory’ and purportedly recommended one Dr. Ibrahim Bello-Dauda as the preferred Vice Presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The CNG wishes to unequivocally make it abundantly clear that has not been the position of the CNG as a powerful organisation that remains to its core principles of neutrality and always advocates for good governance and quality leadership.
“Consequently, the CNG asserts that it is neither pro APC nor Pro PDP; or any political party for that matter. CNG does not condemn or recommend any candidate or running mate for any political party. CNG, during its last meeting or at any other engagement, neither discussed nor condemned choice of Okowa as the VP to the PDP Presidential Candidate.
“That CNG does not know or have any relationship whatsoever with one Dr Ibrahim Bello-Dauda, hence, does not recommend or prefer him as VP candidate for the APC. While a member or affiliate of the CNG may have his personal opinion on national issues as guaranteed in the Nigeria’s Constitution, the CNG hereby disassociates itself from such positions and pronouncement.
“We call on the media to always verify the veracity and authenticity of any statement before going to press. We equally advise that journalists should always separate personal opinion of an individual from the collective, official position of the CNG”.