By: Idara Philips
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, (AYCF), has expressed dismay over the rising cases of kidnapping and banditry in the North, saying the region must focus primarily on the quality, capability and age of elected representatives come 2023.
The group stated this in a resolution signed by its National President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, after a one-day summit on the Northern Democratic future in 2023 held in Kaduna on Tuesday
The statement stated that the development is a smear on all efforts to build a greater future for the region.
According to the group, the spate of killings and kidnappings could be tackled by voting out the current crop of old, weak, pacified and out-of-touch-with-reality political spent forces as governors.
“We are convinced beyond reasonable doubt, that the quality of leadership we have got from the North has been disappointing and embarrassing to the political expertise and integrity that our region has been known for.
Consequently we wish to declare our resolve as follows:-
“It will be extremely hard to convince anybody that majority of our governors are really in charge or have anything tangible to offer, five years down the road.
“There are of course a few good ones, but we should have gone beyond this position by now. This might even be the reason why majority of these governors are ignoring the substance and chasing the shadows, namely control of social media. Who says social media is the problem of the mass majority of our people?
“We have for too long allowed old political cargoes to decide or determine who should go for which elective office in the North.
“The few among them who know what is right get blocked by other governors from guiding the region right. The result of this going-with-the-flow kind of disposition of the youth is the emergence of many incompetent old cargoes as governors and few good ones, leading to general backwardness of our region.
“We have therefore agreed that the present level of insecurity in the North is a proof that we voted in 2019 to many wrong set of leaders, whose priority is a far cry from the needs and aspirations of our people. We keep on running around a circle.
“Our plans are therefore in top gear for mobilising the youths of our region to immediately takeover the democratic space from the majority of old brigade and their cronies who have blocked their colleagues who meant well for the region and brought us into the mess we’re in today.
“We are conscious of our responsibility as youths from the North, to redefine our political and economic focus, to end this bloodshed in the North by bandits and kidnappings in broad daylight.
“This is not the kind of North we deserve and we are very sure it all boils down to majority of incompetent leadership of old and weak politicians – driven by the hunger for absolute power, in the name of democracy.
“We therefore call on all lovers of greater future for the North to join hands with us in this renewed effort to give the North a more deserved sense of direction. The year 2023 should mark the take-off point of this renewed struggle to dominate the democratic space.
“We cannot afford a repeat of the ongoing level of poor governance brought about by recycling old hands. Enough of this running around in circles. It is time to rescue the North from being further taken hostage by the predatory powers of some clueless governors, who have got trillions from the federation account to deal with insecurity, poverty, illiteracy and unemployment but are focusing on emasculating views against their incompetence in the social media and other mundane issues.
“To rescue the North is a priority and the time is now! We can’t wait till 2023 to start thinking about how our votes could help the youth to replace the old cargoes and their abysmal performance as governors.
“It’s time to say a final NO to those old, weak, reactionaries and apologetics masquerading as our elected governors, when very few of them are equal to the task of democratic leadership. They are a sharp misrepresentation of the quality of governance that the North is respected for.
“We shall also consult widely with our counterparts from the Southern parts of the country and seek their blessing for this struggle of emancipation – towards a better North with youth at the helm of political affairs ahead of 2023 general elections. We hope youths of the Southern parts of the country will also solidarise with us,” the statement stated.