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2023: ACF, Northern Groups to meet presidential candidates for unity

…Enjoins ASSU to respect rule law.

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) says it is arranging with northern groups to meet with various Presidential candidates of various political parties for the 2023 election to know their policies towards uniting and developing the entire country.

The forum, which disclosed this in a communiqué after the national executive council meeting on Wednesday in Kaduna, said Nigeria must be safe and stable for any meaningful progress to be achieved, and for the winner, “whoever he may be, to give leadership.”

The communiqué, read by the forum’s Secretary-General, Alhaji Murtala Aliyu, added that, “It is in this regard that the ACF, together with other Northern groups arrange to meet with various Presidential candidates to know their policies towards uniting and developing the entire country.

“ACF also enjoins the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a proper and transparent election by maintaining and even surpassing their current records. The government on its part, together with other development partners, must provide adequate and timely resources to achieve this,” it stated.

“ACF is saddened by the protracted and unresolved dispute between the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government. To resolve the dispute, the parties must have the interest of education and the future of our children and the nation at heart.

“ACF advises the Government to shift ground, while emphatically asking the ASUU members to show sympathy for the future of the students and consider offers made by Government and respect the rule of law,” it stated.

The ACF observed that, except the Local Governments are made to be functional, the country’s development outcome would remain dismal. 

It noted that, youth and able-bodied men and women migrate from Local Government Areas to the cities due to lack of functional Local Government Administrations, escalating insecurity such as kidnapping, armed robbery and the like. 

ACF called on the political leadership of the country to ensure that the LGA administrations worked, saying, that is the only way democracy could be sustained.

The forum observed with the delight, recent performance of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) that has already led to the exposure and arrest of leading drugs traffickers, urging NDLEA not to relent in its efforts, adding, “We wish to remind similar law enforcement agencies to emulate these performances.

“ACF congratulates Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, the premier, for attaining the age of 60.”

Forum commends the efforts of the Federal and State Governments and the Security Agencies for scaling-down the level of insecurity in most parts of the country, especially in the North where insecurity had taken an alarming proportion.

It, however, observed that incidences of attacks on villages and highways and kidnappings in states of the Northwest/Northeast and parts of North-central are still happening, which are worrisome, calling on the security agencies to revisit their strategy to root out these insurgents and terrorists and restore permanent peace to the land. 

They also appealed to members of the media to be mindful of the information they dish out to the public. ACF advised politicians to play politics by the rule, and must guard their utterances and everything possible to avoid heating up the polity, and advised that campaigns should be issue-based.  

“It has been observed that, there is already voter apathy. Sectarian and divisive issues must be avoided at all costs, in order to further discourage rational voters from exercising their civic rights,” it stated.

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