Yerima Shettima

Arewa Youth Consultative Forum has chided its leaders across the country over what it described as careless politicking in the zone.

The forum expressed worry over the manner at which 2019 presidential aspirants are being considered from an area in the zone.

The national president of the forum, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, while speaking on the development, said Arewa youths are already bothered by the way Nigeria is being pushed back to the political scenario of 2015, in which the Southwest region dominated the decision-making efforts on who should be Nigeria’s president.

He added that the North, out of modesty, merely allowed that historic imposition and, now, the North’s first four years have become wasted years of poverty, hunger, unemployment, general under-development and disturbing levels of stagnation.

He, however, warned that the Northern youth will no longer tolerate the kind of imposition that brought the nation’s economy to knees.

“All we now get is empty propaganda, instead of performance. This is an insult on the sensibilities of all Nigerians, who struggled to send away the military in order to pave way for democracy. Even though the consensus is that power should reside within the North in 2019, we make bold to say no one should dare try to teleguide the region and its people this time around. Northerners have a right to their democratic aspirations and choice of a President and no one should try to usurp such constitutional power through the backdoor.

“We want to make it very clear that the era of imposition of anyone on the North is gone. We are watching, very closely, the turn of events in Nigeria’s democratic space at the moment and won’t take any form of manipulation by people who know little or nothing about the kind of leadership the people of the North want,” avowed.

He also expressed worry at the manner with which North is turned into what he called ’political experiment’.

“We cannot fathom why people outside the North should turn our region into their political experimenting field, choosing a candidate who would take orders from them and abandon his own people’s wishes and aspirations. This is primitive, unacceptable and a smear on the well-known democratic principles of a modern, independent nation that we have built over 50 years.

“The earlier this shameful manipulation of our hopes in democracy is halted, the better for our relationship with our neighbours. On no account should anyone take the North for granted again, especially on the matter of 2019 Presidency. We are no fools and the world has come a long way from the era of political obscurantism and harmful patronage,” he observed.

The Arewa youth leader also maintained that “We find it disheartening that the Northwest is now slowly going into the hands of toxic political class, whose madness has now reached alarming levels. How else can anyone, in his right senses, explain the emergence of Nine (9) presidential candidates all from one geopolitical zone? What has gone wrong with the North’s sense of decency in politics?

“Imagine the exemplary style of the Northeast, which has just two candidates! Isn’t that a lesson for the scattered and uncoordinated Northwest? If this mess is not tackled, the next generation of Northern political leaders will never forgive us for playing callous and reckless politics. “We won’t fold our arms and watch this happen,” he warned.

Shettima, however, said that “We also declare that our plans are already in top gear to use all constitutional means to protect the integrity of the North by stopping those political merchants from elsewhere, who are turning our region into their experimental guinea pig.

“We had overlooked this political subjugation in 2015 to give democracy a chance and also not to jeopardise the alliance between the North and its neighbours. But now that there are deliberate efforts by some political merchants to repeat the same ridiculous manipulation, we are telling them that it’s no longer possible,” he added.

He concluded that there are so many ways of promoting the deepening of democracy in Nigeria, “but open and shameless manipulation is not one of them. We hope this would serve as a final warning to those plotting for the imposition of their lackeys as presidents for selfish political gains. We have had enough of this insult on the North, just because some self-serving political marauders are being driven by the hunger for absolute power. Enough is enough!”

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