The Arewa Progressive Initiative (API) has reacted to a Vanguard publication with the title, “Arewa Youths to Tinubu: Don’t disparage our leaders” published on the 25th April, 2019 which was based on a press release issued by the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum(AYCF) and signed by its National President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima.
In his reaction, the National Coordinator of API, Mr. Alwan Hassan, observed that the release by AYCF warning Tinubu against disparaging northern leaders as represented by the duo of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara is not only ill advised but misdirected.
According to Mr. Hassan, “It’s quite unfortunate for this young people, who represent no one but themselves and their stomachs, to think they can use the collective name of northern youths to undertake the business of defending some individuals who have not in any significant way impacted on the growth and development of northern Nigeria. More disappointing is the misguided belief of a small group of youths under the name of AYCF that anyone who holds an office automatically acquire the title of a ‘leader’.
“We would like to know what political position Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was holding when he promoted other people and made them catalyst for the growth and development of Nigeria. What was the position of Tinubu when he promoted people like Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing; Mr. Tunde Fashola; Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed; former minister of Steel Development and now governor of Ekiti State; Mr. Kayode Fayemi and a host others to leadership positions in this country. We challenge the AYCF or any other bodies to name just one individual raised to a meaningful political height in the entire north by the duo of Saraki and Dogara.
“Even when we have a President Buhari who has a clear interest in the progress of not only the North but the entire country; it’s these same Saraki and Dogara that the AYCF are adorning with the borrowed clothes of northern leaders that stood in the front row to frustrate the effort of the President and also championed anti-Buhari projects that greatly slow down the pace of development that could have been achieved this past four years.
“Conversely, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, apart from promoting individuals who have greatly contributed to the success of the Buhari administration so far, has also shown great commitment to the development of Nigeria and especially Arewa by being pivotal to the enthronement of capable and progressive leaders who are doing well in the North.
“It was Asiwaju Tinubu who supported Sen. Ahmed Lawan, a northern candidate, for the position of Senate President in 2015. Before the 2015 elections, it was the same Tinubu who stood by the then CBN governor, now Emir of Kano, when the then government witch hunted him. It was Tinubu who provided a haven for him in Lagos where a court gave injunctions against his illegal arrest. Now we ask, where were the duo of Saraki and Dogara during this trying time of a prominent son of the north?”
While warning the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) to be cautious and be wary of who their group identifies with; Mr. Hassan invites everyone to check available records of individual and group contributions to the growth of northern Nigeria and see if the names of Saraki and Dogara would even feature among the first 100. “What then qualifies them as northern leaders”, the statement queried.