The Arewa Youth Forum, AYF, has expressed dismay over the zoning of National Assembly leadership positions by the National leadership of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
AYF called on all distinguished Senators and honourable members, House of Representatives-elect to use their discretion, sense of judgment, patriotism and manifestos of those contesting to vote for candidates of their choice “in the overriding interest of our fatherland as a prerequisite to moving Nigeria forward and position it to its rightful place among nations.”
A statement jointly signed by Bello Abdulhamid and Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, National Director, Public Affairs and President of AYF said, “The Arewa Youth Forum, AYF, has received with surprise, the recent position of the National Leader of All Progressive Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, dictating who will emerge as the Senate President as well as the Speaker House of Representatives for the 9th Assembly. We are also amazed by the statement credited to the Party Chieftain where he was quoted to posit that Party officials not comfortable with the choice and dictate of the party as orchestrated by him and some party officials are free to leave the APC.
“So much so that we consider this statement as unbecoming of the National Leader. Also, we believe that this dictatorial tendencies are undemocratic, unethical, not in line with international best practices, politically incorrect and in bad taste.
“To any right thinking and close observers of the polity, this unfolding development showcases Bola Tinubu as anti-North and is selfishly paving his way to have a total control of the APC and its tidings as well as influence the decision of the Party Chairman, all as a build-up to the 2023 elections.
“An Elder who is supposed to toe the path of amicable resolution and embrace the spirit of reconciliation particularly amongst the contestants, is openly found to be overbearing and divisive by all intents. Also, we consider the position of the sage on the proposed Federal Government’s decision on VAT as counter-productive and out of tune with global trends.”
The Forum therefore, maintained that “the singular action, especially as it affects the National Assembly, smacks of the problematic issue of influence of Godfathers, which overtime has been a serious draw back to the tenet of good governance.
“The so called ‘Godsons/Daughters’ are in shackles, enslaved and captive to the whims and caprices of their bosses; hence the desirous and ever needed delivery of democracy dividends through good governance is stunted and threatened.
“For the record, each and every distinguished Senator and Honourable member of House of Representatives-Elect have rights to aspire and stand for election into various offices, and as well have votes to cast, subject to the laws guiding this exercise in the National Assembly.”
“It is disturbing and disheartening that distinguished Senators and honourable members-elect instead of being allowed the freedom to use their conscience, sound judgment, and conviction based on agendas of candidates aspiring for leadership positions in the National Assembly, efforts are being made to remotely control, teleguide, arm twist and force them to vote for candidates whose leadership of the National Assembly may be counter-productive to the accelerated and sustainable delivery of democracy dividends and socio-economic development of Nigeria,” the statement explained.
AYF said that “it is of the view that the recently elected members of the 9th Assembly and forthcoming ones must be allowed to exercise their constitutional rights and legislative independence.
“Therefore, after careful study, wide consultation, deep assessment and review based on our current realities as a nation, it is crystal clear to all discerning and patriotic Nigerians that we do not need a ‘stooge’ or ‘puppet’ of a Godfather as a Senate President or Speaker, House of Representatives.
“What we actually need are a Senate President and Speaker, House of Representatives that are patriotic, selfless and experienced; leaders that are driven by the burning desire to fast track legislation which shall be of benefit to the ordinary Nigerian.”
“We need leaders that are courageous advocates of good conscience in governance, servant leaders whose humility and sense of responsibility is evident; leaders that think Nigeria and always acts in its best interest, leaders that are of merit; leaders that can interface and collaborate with colleagues and other patriotic stakeholders to work selflessly aimed at ensuring that Nigeria takes its rightful place in the comity of nations as a veritable economic power,”AYF advised.
AYF emphasized, “In view of the above, we call on all distinguished Senators and honourable members, House of Representatives-elect to use their discretion, sense of judgment, patriotism and manifestos of those contesting to vote for candidates of their choice and qualified personalities for the job in the overriding interest of our fatherland as a prerequisite to moving Nigeria forward and position it to its rightful place among nations.”