An influential Islamic group, Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’ah Wa Ikamatis Sunnah, JIBWIS, has endorsed the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
Before the endorsement, the group subjected the matter to an internal poll, where Mr Abubakar got 73 votes against All Progressives Congress, APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, who polled 13.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that 115 sectoral leaders participated in the crucial decision-meeting meeting, while 19 abstained from voting and said they would follow the choice of the supreme leader, Sheikh Sani Jingir.
After the announcement of the result, Mr Jingir however endorsed the Muslim-Muslim candidature of Messrs Tinubu and Shettima, but enjoined his followers to vote according to their conscience.
“In the name of Allah, I respect your decision, and I urge you all to vote for your choice; it’s very okay by me,” he said.
“For me, this is not the first time, and you are aware of that. But I will be voting for the Muslim-Muslim ticket. I will vote for Tinubu, and you should all vote for your choice.”
The Jos-based cleric also said he would be canvassing for the re-election bid of Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, and the candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, in Kano State, Abba Kabir-Yusuf.
A couple of days after Mr Jingir’s endorsement, the vice presidential candidate of the APC, Kashim Shettima paid a “thank you visit” to the cleric at his residence in Jos, Plateau State on Sunday.
Mr Shettima was accompanied by the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase, stalwarts of the party, and some senior officials of the JIBWIS.