The 2019 general elections have come and gone, but its impact will remain in the heart of many Nigerians, particularly those that suffered unexpected defeat for a long time to come. The battle of who will succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC has continued to be on the front burner of national discourse, propping up such political heavyweights as governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, who is believed to be one of the forerunners of the country’s exalted seat.
Non-governmental organizations have started to reign in their support for one candidate or the other, while some others are bent on imposing their candidates, all for political expediency.
The recent outburst by the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, AYCF, the youth wing of the renown Arewa Consultative Forum, where it called on APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to shun his presidential ambition in 2023 is unwelcome and unpatriotic.
The Forum through its national president, Comrade Yerima Shettima, had urged Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to banish his thoughts of becoming the country’s president come 2023, adding that the North would not back anyone from the South-West for such exalted office.
Shettima vowed that they will use all legitimate avenues to resist what they called “manipulations of one man, whose primary goal in life was the 2023 Presidency”. According to them, the mission or project of Bola Ahmed Tinibu “is no longer possible because the country belongs to all of us.”
One should wonder if this statement comes from a body said to be promoting peace and harmony in Nigeria. This is clearly an agenda for promoting regionalism, sentiments and ethnic jingoism. Nevertheless, it is not a surprise for the AYCF to place its hammer on Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu because of their antecedents of hatred against the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari.
Prior to the 2019 elections, the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, had pitched its tent with the main opposition party’s flagbearer Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and even went ahead and mobilised people to sensitise them on the need to back Atiku’s presidential ambition.
The question is, why is the AYCF always commenting about power tussle between politicians and decision makers? Does it have nothing to do apart from issuing statements on who to support or not? Is this the only job they have on their desk? These are questions that need to be answered.
It is however undemocratic for a socio-political body to begin issuing press releases on who should be Nigeria’s next president, be it from the North, South or West. AYCF should know that no one owns this country; anybody can become president if Nigerians entrust him with the job. Nigeria is for all of us. We have had Hausas, Yorubas, Fulanis, Nupes, Ijaws, etc as presidents since independence. In times like this, there should be no room for regionalism and ethnicity. Arewa is currently facing lingering security challenges and we are yet to get meaningful advice, suggestions or solution from the so-called AYCF.
Thousands of citizens were killed in communal clashes around Birnin Gwari, Kajuru and other parts of Kaduna, but the AYCF found it unworthy to comment or advise the governor on how to end the security challenges in a state where the AYCF office is located. And there was no single forum organised by the body to educate our youths on peaceful coexistence.
Bandits and Kidnappers have been terrorizing Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Nasarawa, Sokoto and their environs, no condolences visits or statements by AYCF leaders to condole with the families or donating some relief materials to the victims of the Boko Haram/ Zamfara crisis at their IDP’s camp respectively. The organization seems to be obsessed with power, and not development.
The youth wing of the Arewa Consultative Forum needs to be educated and sensitised. They should learn not to be a clog in the wheel of development. We have serious security challenges, especially in the North and this cannot be the best time to talk about the presidential race that will be coming up in the next four years.
AYCF should allow our leaders to serve our fatherland. It is time to stand for Nigeria. We are one nation, the nation that was bound in freedom, peace and unity.
– Mustapha Kalgo wrote from Sokoto
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