A coalition of youth political groups, including the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo youths, Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, Yoruba Youth Council and over 50 other groups have risen in agreement and rejected President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2019 presidential election.
This development comes as leading northern groups and associations said President Buhari’s administration has failed to meet the aspiration of northerners in a huge blow to the President’s second term aspirations.
The youth coalition, in a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting, also stated that the Buhari-led government had failed the nation.
The meeting was convened by the National President, National Ethnic Nationalities Leaders, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, who also doubles as the leader of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum.
Chief among their grievances include the collapse of security nationwide as herdsmen and Boko Haram kill people from the north to other parts of the country with reckless abandon.
In the communiqué, they said “The present government under President Muhammadu Buhari has failed in all ramifications and Nigerians, particularly the youths, must begin to examine other options and review the leadership selection process.”
The groups said the meeting was necessitated by “concern over the deepening poverty and restiveness among the nation’s youths due to long neglect by the authorities.”
“Worried by the recent uncertain twists in the country which are punctuated by crises and conflicting perceptions, the leaders of Nigeria’s ethnic nationality youth groups met in Abuja to review the state of the nation.
“It’s close to three years since the present government was sworn in with Muhammadu Buhari as president and Nigerians, especially the youths, are yet to feel any meaningful change.
“It’s been one challenge after the other, from stinging poverty, to mass joblessness, to pervading insecurity, to painful fuel scarcity, to poor power supply and to a persistent instability in the value of the naira.”
They also lamented that Boko Haram insurgents appeared to be more emboldened with the recent abductions and intensified attacks and killings.
The communiqué added, “We insist that the government must take visibly serious steps towards an extensive restructuring of the country as the only remaining available solution to the current economic and political woes.”
“We resolve to mobilise youths across all ethnic divides to work for a more stable and guaranteed future devoid of undue manipulation by the present crop of bankrupt elite.
“We therefore call on the youths everywhere to wake up and participate actively in the leadership selection processes in their local governments, states and the federation.”
Signatories to the communiqué include:
- Shettima Yerima, National President, National Ethnic Nationalities Leadersand leader of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum
- Oweilaemi (President, Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide and Ethnic Nationalities Forum of Niger Delta);
- Okechukwu Isiguzoro (Deputy Chairman, Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders) and National President, (Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide);
- Eric Oluwole(National Secretary Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders and National President, Yoruba Youth Council, et al.