Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), the frontline group of youth in Northern Nigeria, has called for the structuring of Nigeria, positing that it is the only way the country can stay together for national progress.
This is just as the group ruled out supporting any candidate above 60 years ahead of the 2023 general elections, saying it will pitch a tent for a younger candidate.
President of AYCF, Ambassador Yerima Shettima, said this while addressing a press conference over the weekend in Kaduna.
“I am one of the voices in the North today who believes in restructuring.
“The more we continue to centralise powers, we will keep having people not worthy in governance,” he said.
He said his ultimate desire is to be alive and witness a Nigeria that works for everyone when power is decentralised.
“I hope someday I will be alive to see the structure with people doing better in their various regions like it was done in the sixties.
“Even when Sardauna had the opportunity to go to the centre to be Prime Minister, he decided to send Tafawa Balewa.
“He remained in the North and his tremendous achievements are here for all to see,” he said.
He, however, noted that the AYCF is yet to decide on a candidate of its choice and said it will put several factors before pitching tents.
Though he did not mention names of any politician, the age limit pegged above 60 rules out some top contenders like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and ex Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Shettima stressed that although it is too early to pitch tents, AYCF will only back those who are committed to good governance.
He then noted that it would lend its voice to the use of a referendum to test the popularity of agitations for separation.
“We are of the view that a room for the referendum should be created.
“Those agitating for secession should be allowed to have a referendum, let’s see how popular the agitations are.
“If any part of the country wants to go, organise a referendum and let’s see how popular they are, so that separation can take place without bloodshed,” he advised.