A group, Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) has declared that none of the southern presidential aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has the political will to tame Nigeria’s current challenges.
NYLF which is an umbrella body of 42 northern youth organisations, also declared that the North has not produced any consensus presidential candidate, contrary to the position of the Northern Elders Forum as announced by its convener, Prof. Ango Abdullahi.
The NYLF National Chairman, Elliot Afiyo, made the position known on Tuesday, while addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.
Afiyo maintained that the North is not hell-bent on retaining the presidency come 2023, but the next president must be a leader who has the political will to change Nigeria’s current “unusual circumstances.”
He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government had reneged on its promises and further plunged the country into deeper crisis.
“We have found ourselves in a peculiar and unusual situation, which requires unusual solutions.
“We are not insisting that the North must produce the next president, but we need to let Nigerians know that we need someone that’s well experienced, somebody that has the political will, the boldness and the courage to change the narrative.
“Such a person must be able to say yes when it is yes and no when it is expected.
“You will all agree with me that all the presidential aspirants that come from the PDP, all of them from the North and the South, I stand to be corrected, there is no any presidential aspirant from the South that has the political will to change or confront these challenges,” Afiyo said.
He added that although former President Goodluck Jonathan “is a good man, he has no political will to implement the 2014 National Constitutional conference report.”
The NYFL National Chairman called on Nigerians to eschew regional and ethnicity sentiment in the choice of the next president of the country.
Speaking on the controversial consensus candidate from the North, Afiyo said Prof Abdullahi’s announcement of Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed and former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, neither represented the position of the former Military Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida nor that of the NEF.
He said: “It is very wrong to say North has presidential consensus candidate. We don’t have consensus candidate and IBB didn’t endorse any candidate.
“IBB is a statesman. IBB loves this country, he has paid due sacrifices for this country and he is not a timid person. He is not sentimental. He puts national interest above any other interest.
“So, I want to clear the notion. IBB didn’t endorse any candidate even the Northern Elders Forum didn’t endorse any candidate. Prof Abdullahi just decided to choose some elders that are not even members of the Northern Elders Forum and they made their choice.
“The choice of the committee is not the choice of Northern Elders Forum nor the choice of IBB”.