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2023: Arewa Youth “will not support any Northern Presidential Candidate”

…Says, “Nigeria not for North alone.”

…Calls for discard of ethnicity, religion.

…Disagrees with Zangon Daura.

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), the leading umbrella youth forum in Northern Nigeria, has said it will not support any northern candidate running for president in 2023 general elections.

Recall that northern Nigeria has two presidential hopefuls – former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubukar, of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and former Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso, of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP).

The forum’s national president, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, disclosed this in a statement he signed, while responding to the choice of a Northern elder statesman, Alhaji Sani Zangon Daura, who is backing a Northern candidate for the Presidency Seat of Power in 2023.

According to him, the forthcoming election is not about ethnicity or religion but would centre on a United Nigeria.

While addressing a group of youths, Alhaji Zangon Daura, in a viral video, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency, in 2023, citing historic and religious instances.

But in the statement yesterday, the AYCF said Daura’s belief has been overtaken by events, citing current realities and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project.

According to the forum, Nigeria does not belong to the north alone and, because of that, the youths are in full support of power shift to the South, for the sake of equity, fairness and justice.

He said, “We most respectfully disagree with a Northern elder statesman, Alhaji Sani Zangon Daura, that the northern region should support a Northern candidate for the nation’s presidency, come 2023.

“The choice of a Southerner for President by the region was clearly in the spirit of justice, because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North,” he stated, while insisting that, “Even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on power-shift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic.”

The forum’s president further explained that, the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, adding that, “A little balancing was needed in position of our father, Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are ‘mere escorts’ for the younger generation today.”

He also stated that, when 13 Northern governors, led by Kaduna State Governor, Mall Nasir El-Rufai, endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.

“Though, we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.

“We are aware, as well as our father, Zangon Daura, that the North is respected for honoring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.

“We are not known to break promises, and that explains why our son, President Muhammadu Buhari, never objected to the idea of Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father, Zangon Daura, knows, promises are sacred and, in fact a culture,” AYCF stressed.

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