By Tunde Oguntola, Abuja
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, a coalition of 42 youth groups, Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF), has called for the zoning of the presidency to North East geo-political zone.
The political group formed by the northern political, traditional,
religious and military elites in 1990, with membership of over four
million youths, are insisting that the presidency should go to the North
East in 2023.
NYLF’s national chairman, Comrade Elliot Afiyo, who disclosed this during an interview with LEADERSHIP in Abuja, argued that there were Igbos in the All Progressives Congress (APC) when the rotation agreement was written, signed and sealed.
Afiyo maintained that the North East was denied that opportunity in 2015 and should first be pacified, while the South West that entered into an agreement with the North in APC, whether right or wrong, should also be considered.
He said the decision of former President Goodluck Jonathan to
contest for a second term against the initial political agreement in
the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) brought President Muhammadu Buhari and, by extension, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to power.
He also alleged that security challenges facing the nation today brought the alliance between the North and the South West.
He stated: “If former President Jonathan had respected this agreement,
APC would not have come to power because the North would have voted massively for the northern candidate from the North East.
“In the same vein, we were told that there is an existing agreement
in the APC that power should be shifted to the South West after
then Buhari administration. We, therefore, insist that such agreement should be respected to avoid a boomerang effect and consequences”.
On the claim by the South East that it is their turn since
they have not produced any president in the political dispensation,
he said he did not understand how it became the turn of the zone.
“The political agreement in PDP is between the North and the South
not among geopolitical zones. It is left for the South to decide which
zone to produce the president. Let the three geopolitical zones in the
south decide which of them to produce the president in 2023,” Afiyo stated
Coalition Gives Kogi Gov 14 Days To Join Race
Meanwhile, a coalition of youth support groups called Governor Yahaya Bello to President Yahaya Bello (GYB2PYB) has issued 14-day
ultimatum to Governor Yahaya Bello to declare his intention for the 2023 presidential race.
The group made their position known in a letter submitted to the governor at the Kogi State liaison office in Abuja.
According to the group, over 15 million Nigerian youths have signed a request letter urging the governor to accept the invitation to run for the presidency in the 2023 general election.
Speaking at the liaison office, the director-general of GYB2PYB, Ambassador Oladele Nihi, said at the weekend that Bello has what it takes to provide purposeful leadership and good governance if elected as
president in the 2023 general election.
He stated: “If elected, he will offer the right leadership, as
he is interested in the good of Nigeria. The GYB2PYB Youth Movement is here to project him, to market him and to sell him to other Nigerians.
“We have searched the length and breadth of our country and found that
Governor Bello, a young man who has given women and young people the platform to be the drivers in their own affairs, will perform well if
elected into the exalted office.
“Governor Bello’s style of leadership is what we need in this country, a leadership of a government of the young people by the young people and for the general wellbeing of all Nigerians.”
Describing him as a gender-friendly governor, he said Kogi State
government, under his sterling leadership, recently swore in 21 women
vice-chairpersons to enhance women’s representation in power and
decision making in the state.
He added: “I believe that the challenge is to have a good
leader to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who has tried his best.
We should begin to identify somebody to take over from him and do a
“Governor Bello is a detribalised Nigerian and we are optimistic that
he will stamp out nepotism from our country, and will handle the
intractable security problems of our country.
“His security architecture is second to none in the country and has
won him accolades and several awards, including the ‘Best Security
Conscious Governor in Nigeria’ from different security agencies who
have continually recommended his security model to other states in the
Speaking further, he said because the governor is a young man, they
are of the view that he would engage women and young men in
governance, and make them critical stakeholders in the affairs of the
“We believe that he is a good brand that we can sell. We urge all of
you to take the message nationwide that Governor Yahaya Bello will handle security. He will ensure Women and Youth inclusiveness in governance and will erase all forms of ethnic and religious bias”, the youth leader said.
Meanwhile, the president, National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Dr Gloria Laraba Shoda, has said that the political will exhibited by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in the area of women empowerment remains unprecedented in the history of Nigeria’s politics, hence the need to celebrate his deed.
She made this known at the weekend when the NCWS conferred a Goodwill Ambassador of Nigerian Women on Governor Bello and the Most Gender Sensitive Governor in Nigeria award.
Gloria noted that an organization, Global Gold Consult, had approached the NCWS on the need to honour Governor Bello, and that after carrying out their own independent findings, they all concluded that such honour was the least they could do in recognition of the laudable all inclusive governance by the governor.
She noted that the required action to put women on the spotlight for effective governance was being experienced under the leadership of Governor Bello in Kogi State, pointing out that “by his (Bello) sheer penchant for good governance, has taken bold steps to ensure women had fair share in the governance structure in the state.”
She added that it was the wish of all women in the country that the governor takes up higher opportunities and responsibilities after his tenure as governor so that the Kogi model could be replicated at the national level.
Governor Bello, in his remark after receiving his ambassadorship and award, affirmed that his good conducts both in public and private were largely shaped by the good women who surrounded him during his early life, as an adult and a family man.
The governor noted that his mother and late matriarch of his home, Hajiya Hauwa’u Bello, right from when she gave birth to him up till March 15, 2020 when she passed on, dedicated her life in raising him and his elder siblings after her husband and their father, Alhaji Bello Ipemida Ochi, died relatively early in life.
He added that in similar vein, the women of his family have been great source of direction and compass for him.
“The matriarch of my home, Hajia Amina Bello; the First Lady of Kogi State, Her Excellency, Hajiya Rashidat Bello and my other wives, all of them and equally, my beloved dear daughters and my sisters are all in the forefront of shaping my private and public conduct”, he said.
Governor Bello alluded to the fact that women are indeed powerful given his experience with them