National President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shettima
| credits: File copy
The President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima, has criticised all former heads of state from the North for the backwardness the region is experiencing at the moment, while condemning delegates at the national conference who are against establishing a special fund to rehabilitate the North-East.
Shettima told SUNDAY PUNCH that all northern leaders who had ruled the country and other northern elite failed to lift the region when they had the opportunity to do so. According to him, they have plunged the northerners further into poverty.
The AYC leader said, “What they have been able to bequeath to the region instead is backwardness, illiteracy, poverty and lack of employment. There’s poverty all over the northern region as a result of their bad stewardship; lack of accountability and transparency.
“For more than two decades of their being in power in Nigeria since independence and having the opportunities to transform the North, they failed to lift up the region. That’s why today the northerners receive all types of insults from their southern counterparts.
“None of the leaders -name any of them -has been exceptional. They have not done anything.
But, a member of the National Executive Council of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Alhaji Mohammed Abdulrahman, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the comment of Shettima on leadership failure in the North was mere grandstanding. According to him, many of the northern former heads of state are men who want the best not only for northerners but for the whole nation.
The ACF chieftain said, “We are worried about Nigeria. It’s not really time to apportion blame. It’s true northerners had ruled the country more than any other regions. Nonetheless, I will tell you these leaders are good men. They are not the cause of the North’s problems.
“I won’t say they’re the cause of our woes. What he (Shettima) said is grandstanding; he’s only doing political grandstanding. Young people like him like to make all the noise. They’re not aware of the tricks and intrigues of politics.