The move to present a more united and formidable North in the build-up to the 2015 presidential elections suffered a serious setback yesterday as the Northern Youths Forum (NYF) berated Arewa elders over their recent comments on the return of power to the region, saying rather than voting a presidential candidate of northern origin as canvassed by the elders, they will only support any candidate for the leadership of the nation on the basis of merit irrespective of ethnic or religious background.
The NYF took the Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Prof Ango Abdullahi and the erstwhile Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sani Zango Daura and other groups of elders in the North to the cleaners for their hypocrisy on the present state of the nation, saying they are “pretending to have forgotten that their acts of commission and omission while in government brought this nation and indeed the north to its present difficulties”.
In a terse statement signed by the Director, Media and Publicity of NYF, Malam Bello Gambo Bichi, the Northern Youths warned that “it may not be too long before Nigerians and particularly northerners begin to question whether the present lawlessness is not a direct result of their poor leadership legacies”.
Prof. Abdullahi, last Tuesday, led a joint press conference of Arewa Elders to criticize President Goodluck Jonathan on his role in the crisis in Rivers state and also unveiled the North’s readiness to reclaim the Presidency in 2015 boasting that the region’s electoral strength is enough to win the elections.
However, the Youths Spokesman, Malam Bichi remarked: “ the crisis in the Governors Forum or the crisis in the ruling party are all a case of their past misdeeds hunting the present generation. And sensing the consequences of their misadventure while in government, they are now quickly shying away from the truth and diverting public attention from a disease to the symptom of the disease”.
“They thought Nigerians and indeed Northerners might have forgotten the link between their past failures as leaders in contemporary Nigerian political history and the current lawlessness.
“They suddenly want to play the superman, who just came out of the blues to save Nigeria through Press Conference. In fact what they could not do to make Nigeria better when they served in various capacities as Presidential Advisers and Ministers, they are now doing so through Press Conferences”.
“The Zango Dauras and Angos of this world want to blindfold Nigerians and indeed Northerners to beleiving that a President they accuse of seeking self-perpectuation is wrecking havoc on his immediate constituency of Niger Delta, particularly Rivers state”.
“How would anyone in his right senses believe this? The crisis in Rivers State is a constitutional matter which the leaders of that state be allowed to resolve amicably; and not just someone from afar fueling the crisis in the name of imaginary ambition of some leaders”.
Bichi argued that “we challenge the duo of Ango and Daura to tell Nigerians and the north what they did to add value to the lives of Nigerians. Professor was Presidential Adviser on food security, what did he do to impact positively on the lives of Nigerinas while in office? Alhaji Daura was Minister of Agriculture, he should tell Nigerians and indeed the North at he is pretending to be fighting for, what impact he made as Minister of Agriculture”.
The Arewa youths continued: “While we condemn in strong terms the negative utterances of the elders from any section of this country, we take exception to the press conferences designed to promote selfish interest at the expense of all Nigerians.
“And in terms of national leadership, we advocate for a good leader and not just a Northern leader. Nigeria would be greater without ethnic champions, who cry over spilt milk. The future of the north will not and cannot be compromised to serve individual interest”.