Indications are that there would be more surprises from northern Nigeria politicians after the successful completion of the Northern Political Leadership Forum(NPLF) consensus candidate for the 2011 presidential election selection exercise.
chidi opara reports learnt that the NPLF have started the recruitment of influential traditional and religious leaders into the body as ex-officio members. The membership of these leaders who have only so far given moral supports would be strictly confidential.
One of the reasons volunteered by contacts close to NPLF leadership for this recent move is that northern politicians like Muhammadu Buhari, Balarabe Musa and Nuhu Ribadu can only be influenced by traditional and religious leaders. Northern Nigeria is predominantly conservative and Islamic. NPLF is reportedly working to get these politicians to support its consensus candidate, Mr. Atiku Abubakar. Buhari, Musa and Ribadu belong to different political platforms.
The NPLF contact committee whose mode of operation is highly secret is reported to have met with some influential traditional and religious leaders in Sokoto, Kano and Bauchi so far. The results of these meetings, an NPLF contact volunteered, "have been positive". Contact committee members are reportedly impressing it on these leaders, the need to get politicians of northern Nigeria origin to close ranks and support Atiku Abubakar to defeat the incumbent, whom they see as another Olusegun Obasanjo imposition.
The contact committee, chidi opara reports also learnt is not restricting contacts to the North. "Thers is plan to reach out to friendly leaders in the South", another NPLF contact informed.