The President of the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, AYCF, Yerima Shettima, has told President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election in the forth-coming 2019 presidential election.
According to him, any arrangement for Buhari to run in the next poll would be resisted. “The truth is that our expectations of this government have not been met. Everything they promised during the campaign and in their manifesto”, he explained.
Speaking with the Sun, Arewa youths leader, who also hinted he may run for the presidential election, called on Buhari to give up his right to contest the 2019 presidential election.
“Honestly, the situation (of the country) is nothing to write home about and we cannot continue hoping that anything will happen from now till the next one year.
“We cannot continue to imagine that. That would assume we are living in imagination and the truth of the matter is that from now until January what the government has been able to do is what they can do for this tenure and I do not think that Nigerians are prepared to be fooled for the second time.
“We cannot continue over and over. We have come of age. We cannot continue to fold our hands and be complaining. We must be in the mainstream. Most of them had the opportunity but they could not do it well and I do not see them doing it better now at their age.
“The truth is that our expectations of this government have not been met.
“Everything they promised during the campaign and in their manifesto. The reason why everybody sought for change was that we thought this government will fight corruption tooth and nail without considering whosoever is involved.
“But we have now realized that the fight against corruption has become selective. Then two, the issue of insurgency, leave it or take it, to us, as laymen this battle is not over. We cannot or the government cannot justify the fact that we told Nigerians that the fight against insurgency is over.
“Almost every day we have had casualties. These are the two core issues. The third one on the campaign was the issue of power. This is nothing to write home about even though the Minister of Power told us that a responsible government should be able to fix power within six months.
“That has not been achieved more than two and a half years after. Now it is nothing to write home about; the same thing with roads. Even the issue of petrol pump price is another one. We were told during the campaign that immediately they resume office, fuel price would go down to N40 per liter from N97 per litre.
He continued: “Now, a government that promised this rather than keep to their promise raised the price astronomically. Now, it is between 70 and 80 percent increase.
“That is giving us a lot of concern. Certainly, whether you like it or not the government must take responsibility and I have no doubt in my mind that between them and God who created them they know they have failed Nigerians.
“And when people take responsibility, then we will begin to forgive ourselves. If they beg for forgiveness we can decide to overlook it and also forge ahead. But certainly, never again will anybody make this mistake. Never.
“Honestly, the situation is nothing to write home about and we cannot continue hoping that anything will happen from now till the next one year. We cannot continue to imagine that.
“That would assume we are living in imagination and the truth of the matter is that from now until January what the government has been able to do is what they can do for this tenure and I do not think that Nigerians are prepared to be fooled for the second time.
“We will insist that those above 60 do not come on board again and that our generation should stand firm to take our destiny in our hands. We will jettison the issue of the difference in ethnicity, religion and other mundane, divisive sentiments to insist on good governance.
“We are enlightened and we know exactly what we want. We constitute about 70 to 80 percent of the population and if democracy is about numbers, we will achieve our aim.
“Even before Buhari, the North has other people who we can vouch for their integrity who are not up to 60 years. I have no doubt in my mind there are. In fact, I am one.
Asked if he is also going to contest, Yerima added, “I may, I may not. But I am saying we have a lot of them. We have a lot of people of my generation who can do better and who also have integrity. Nobody can question the integrity of Muhammadu Buhari, but I am also saying that governance cannot be single-handedly run in a country like Nigeria.
“We cannot also assume that he alone can do the job. He does not have a team to go with, simply because they took advantage of his ill-health or his age.”
Speaking further, the Arewa youths president said that if the APC allows Buhari to fly their flag in 2019 or any other aspirant who is above 60 years of age we will insist, advocate, conscientise, educate Nigerians and the youths on the consequences of the suicide they will commit in their generation because it is a suicide”, he said.