President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, says the North, and particularly the youths, would no longer accept anyone above 50 years of age for the position of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Yerima made the remarks following the altercation between the supporters of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and those of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari over the 2019 presidential election where the North berated the nation’s ex-number two man for allegedly being desperate to become president in 2019.
Yerima noted that the recent outbursts of the former vice president were enough indications that he had become more confused by his alleged desperation for the office of the nation’s number one citizen.
He said, “It is unfortunate that all of a sudden the man became more confused and he is getting confused, day by day, because of his desperation to become President, forgetting that power is given and taken by God. He should have known this than getting confused, talking anyhow in recent times. And, day by day, his desperation is obvious.
“But for me and our people, we have long put him behind us because, we will not, I repeat, we will not accept anybody of Northern extraction above 50 years as our candidate again. He is becoming more desperate and he is compounding his problem. He talks anyhow in recent times and it is obvious that he doesn’t even carry his region along. And I do not also see him becoming popular in the South, not to talk of North. It is impossible. So, he should be mindful and go back to history and see that desperate people don’t get to power in our history.”
Secretary General of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Anthony Sani has also lambasted the former vice president for his alleged plan and utterances on the 2019 presidential race, midway into the tenure of the incumbent President.
The umbrella socio-political organisation for the North, ACF declared Atiku as being “unduly eager” to take over the Presidency of the country from his kinsman, Buhari, in 2019.
Recently, one of his (Atiku’s) loyalists in the Buhari government, who is also the Minister of Women Affairs, Sen. Aisha Alhassan, stirred the hornet’s nest when she declared that she would back the former vice president’s presidential ambition in 2019, as the incumbent President only promised to spend a term in office.
The ripples of the controversy generated by her utterances are still being felt across the nation’s political turf.
A few days after, Atiku accused the Buhari government of sidelining him, adding that he was in a better stead to fight corruption than the current President.
But the ACF secretary general described Atiku as being “unduly eager to be President,” saying that it was “illegal and morally preposterous” for the former vice president to launch his campaign for the 2019 election when the tenure of the incumbent President had just gone half way.
According to Sani; “If Atiku believes he can fight corruption better than President Buhari, he is in a position to advise the President on how best the campaigns against corruption can be managed. This is more so that he is a seminal figure of the ruling party. This is no time for primaries of political parties. So, for Atiku to campaign in that manner, midterm into the tenure, is both illegal and morally preposterous. Let him be patient until the time comes for party primaries.
“To the extent of talking about next elections midterm, one can say the former vice president is unduly eager to be president. But that is the nature of politics. All that politics demands of Atiku is for him to be patient and wait for the time to come for party primaries.”
Meanwhile, the ACF secretary general also restated the opposition of the North to the demands for the restructuring of the country.
He said, “Let them make no mistake. The North is not afraid of restructuring. What the North has said is that there is nothing wrong with the current structure of the country or form of government. The North believes our problems are due to failure of leadership that comes with poor governance. There is also the problem of collapse of national ideals and moral values, which have contributed in no small measure to our national malaise. We believe in republic of ideals and ideas spurred by relative pluralism and not of insular, primordial particularism that goes with cloistered communities with strong historical ties to places.