The President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Yerima Shettima, has described the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, as a complete disappointment to the entire Northern region; while revealing with certainty, that the North plans to present a more competent Candidate, who will contest for President, in 2023 for another 12 years (2035) in order to develop the region, which he claims has be abandoned by Buhari, with no single gain/benefit, whatsoever.
Shettima made this powerful disclosure during and explosive interview with Daily Sun Newspaper, published on Friday.
Here are parts of the excerpt of the interview.
Question: Almost all the Security Chiefs are from the North; the Managing Director of NNPC is from the North; and the Minister of Petroleum, who is President Buhari, is also from the North. So why is the North still feeling it is being cheated?
Shettima: The Security Chiefs were appointed because of the crisis in the North. As far as we in the North are concerned, this government favours only the South-West, and that is why some of us are beginning to have a rethink, that probably after this tenure, we would demand for a Northern Presidency, in 2023.
Question: Are you insinuating that the North will take another shot at the Presidency after eight years of President Buhari?
Shettima: You can be rest assured that it will definitely happen. I am a Leader and an opinion shaper in the North, and when I tell you that we are considering supporting a Northern Presidency in 2023, you better believe it, because it is not just my personal opinion. The North has not benefitted anything from Buhari’s Presidency, because many Northern States are still impoverished and underdeveloped. The rate of poverty in the North has become worse than it was in 2015. We cannot beat our chest and say that this government has favoured the North. The first four years of Buhari was a waste, and we cannot expect any magic to happen in his second tenure; it is not possible. Already some South-Westerners are raising their heads to claim that it is their turn in 2023, but for us in the North, we would plead with the South to bear with us for another 12 years (2035), because we need to feel the impact of governance.
Question: But it would be injustice and lack of fairness to other regions, if the North plans to take a shot at the Presidency again, in 2023, after completing eight years term.
Shettima: Was justice meted to the North, with the level of unemployment and physical infrastructure you cannot find there; with the bad roads and almajiris everywhere, and with no serious policy by the government to tackle that? Here you are living comfortably in Lagos, enjoying Federal allocations and everything, and you expect us to fold our hands and look at you?
Question: But many believe that the North are benefitting from the present government, considering that majority of the appointments were given to Northerners?
Shettima: What kind of appointment are we talking about? Tell me one super appointment that is given to the North now.
Question: Two members of Buhari’s cabinet, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Fashola, told the Yorubas to support the President’s re-election, so that power can go to the South-West, and the APC did not dispute it. Why then do you say the North is contemplating another shot in 2023?
Shettima: Was there any agreement? Is the party a constitution or is party arrangement more superior to the Constitution of the country? There is no going back. In 2023, we will ensure that we present a credible Northern son to contest, and we will also expect the Southern people to have the understanding, on why they should support us.
Question: Is it the number of votes that the North has, that is giving it the confidence that it can win the Presidential election in 2023?
Shettima: The recent election has actually shown it, and it has clearly proved it that in terms of numbers and voting population, the North has the highest. In fairness to Nigeria, we are not saying that because of our number, we are going to use it to intimidate them. What we are saying, is that they should understand that this administration did not perform well in the last four years, and we are saying they should please allow us to ensure that we put certain things right in our region, so that at the end of the day, everybody will live comfortably, and we would move the country forward.