Don’t play into Yahaya Bello’s Hands, Arewa Youth Vanguard Cautions ACF

By our Correspondent

A group under the aegis of Arewa Youth Vanguard have called on the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) to rise above what they described as “divisive manipulations of one man to tear down,” the Forum that has taken “several distinguished personalities of all ethnicities in Northern Nigeria and different faiths in the region to build over the years.”

The youths, in a statement signed by its National Leader, Alh. Abdulsamad Babayo and General Secretary, Kazayat Aminu, which was made available to this medium said, “Our attention has been drawn to overt and covert measures orchestrated by Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the outgoing Governor of Kogi State to mortally injure the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) through the unwarranted attempt to remove Chief Arc. Gabriel Aduku, its Chairman who assumed the office only recently.

“The Governor’s grouse with Chief Gabriel Aduku who we understand also doubles as the Acting Chairman, Kogi East Elders’ Council, (KEEC) was the visit to the Nigerian Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa before the November 11, 2023 election in Kogi State to request among others the stepping up of security in the north and particularly Kogi State which was sliding into a situation of anarchy.”

According to the group, the heightened political insecurity in Kogi State, North Central Nigeria, weeks before the election, was a fact well known to every Nigerian and should be of concern particularly to the Arewa Consultative Forum.

The AYV stated that during the said visit, Chief Aduku also expressed concern about the security situation in Zamfara State and other and parts of Northern Nigeria adding that Chief Aduku’s visit could not be termed as partisan by any fair-minded person.

The group emphasized that as Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum, the entire 19 northern states were Chief Aduku’s constituency, hence, it was his duty to consult anybody anywhere in Nigeria to buttress the interest of the constituent parts of Arewa.

Chief Gabriel Aduku, Chairman Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF)

“Credit must in fact, be given to the Aduku-led ACF for the relative security success enjoyed in Kogi State during the November 11, 2023 election in Kogi State. Were it not for that visit and the subsequent intervention of the military, only God knows how many persons would have been killed and maimed in Kogi State by thugs sponsored and unleashed on opponents and citizens by Yahaya Bello and his goons.”

AYV alleged that during previous elections under this Governor, police helicopters were used to unleash terror on voters at polling units by openly and shamefully shooting at voters scaring them away from exercising their franchise.

“In addition, fake security personnel were all over the state killing innocent voters and snatching ballot boxes. We were also witnesses to how vehicles containing collated results were burnt down by agents of the state Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello. His grouse therefore, is that the Chief Gabriel Aduku-led ACF’s appealed for the deployment of enough security personnel which foiled his plans of causing anarchy in Kogi State during the last off circle election in the state. Even then, we saw in the social and mainstream media clear evidences with videos of how results were prefilled in many parts of Kogi Central day before the election was held as also reported by many credible observer groups who witnessed the brazen rape on our democracy.

“In the events after the election, we have also seen how INEC in the state and their official as well as the Election Tribunal Secretary has been subjected to several attacks and threats. Since the matter is already before the election tribunal, we shall not delve much into it to avoid contempt of the court but, we urge the Arewa Consultative Forum made up of eminent elders who are also witnessing the situation in Kogi State and others states of the north, not to play the ostrich at this critical comment before things completely go out of hand.

“In view of the foregoing, we call on all members of Arewa Consultative Forum to rise above the divisive manipulations of one man to tear down this house that has taken several distinguished personalities of all ethnicities in Northern Nigeria and different faiths in the region to build over the years.

“The Arewa Consultative Forum will be sounding its own death knell if it plays into the hands of unscrupulous politicians. Removing or attempting to remove Chief Gabriel Aduku because one governor’s untamed ego had been ruffled will create a crack in the very fabric of Arewa Consultative Forum, a crack that it may never recover from.

“We urge you as elders who we young people are looking up for leadership wisdom to be temperate, logical and dispassionate in handling this matter. Politicians come and go. This house must not be made to fall due to indiscretion orchestrated by an irrational megalomaniac. Do not embarrass the Forum and indeed the entire north by playing into the hands of an inexperienced youth, sadly one of us who has squandered a golden opportunity to make his mark in life. That would be a blight on the integrity of an august body like the Arewa Consultative Forum. Please thread carefully.”

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