The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), a socio-political and cultural group in the North recently held its 10th Anniversary and its elders were also reported to have met secretly with the Acting President to discuss the state of the nation but it is surprising that the so-called elders could be shallow in their thinking despite their age and experience. Their move to present a northern VP should the need arise among other agenda fell short of the expectations of most young Nigerians. But the ACF elders are old to know better.
It is quite unfortunate that the ACF elders could be pushing for a northern VP when they were supposed to use their experience to unite Nigeria. This group of people was also reported to have been ensuring that a northerner becomes the president come 2011. I therefore make bold to say that the ACF elders’ advice is neither valuable nor respectable. The Forum’s political committee and elders are shameless and selfish. They are not worthy to be called elders because they are only after the northern interest and not the entire federation. Their canvassing for a northern VP should the need arise before the expiration of the Jonathan government is indeed an indication that they are foolish in their thought. Any group that regards itself as elders should be looking for ways to integrate the different tribe and ethnic group in the country rather than promote sectionalism and ethnicity. Little wonder the EFCC chairperson came down heavily on the northern leaders when delivering a speech at the ACF’s 10th Anniversary. The President-General of the radical Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Usman Shettima also said “the leaders of the ACF do not have the credibility to speak for the north having failed the region and the nation at critical times when they were in position of authority”. Also speaking at the ACF 10th Anniversary celebration, Governor of Niger State and the Chairman of the Northern Governor’s Forum, Dr. Aliyu Mua’zu Babangida, criticized the PDP’s zoning arrangement and told the northerners that the presidency is not their birthright.
Come to think of it, the north which the ACF are canvassing for a Vice-President and President in the 2011 elections still have a large population of hungry people. Also, the region is still experiencing high rate of poverty and illiteracy. One would have thought that the ACF elder’s canvassing was to change the sorry state of the people of the north but this is least on their agenda.
Conversely, many of these so-called northern leaders have held positions in the country at one time or the other but they have not used their authorities to better the lot of northerners. And if not checked, the ACF elders’ motives can plunge Nigeria deeper into ethnic and sectarian crisis. The group’s aspersions on the credibility of IBB and Atiku both of whom are northerners interested in the 2011 presidency showed that it’s elder’s agenda as discussed at different fora is not in the best interest of the north which the group serve as a mouthpiece for. ACF’s vow to stop any indicted Northern Presidential aspirants from contesting the next general election will no doubt cause problems among the northern leaders who have come together under the ACF.
I think the ACF needs to re-examine the purpose for which it was established and also take a firm stand on issues because it is neither here nor there. One moment, it declared Yar’ Adua incapacitated and unfit. The next time, it is canvassing for a northern VP and also a president in the 2011 election. Therefore, ACF leaders should get their house in order and find ways of uniting Nigeria rather than promote ethnicity with its mission of uniting Northern leaders.
It is my advice that the ACF elders should stop parading themselves as older Nigerians if they cannot unite Nigerians. Nigeria has suffered so much due to the inability of her citizens to become united and the least the younger generation wants from her elderly ones is to continue causing divisions among the different groups in the country.