It Will Be Unfair, Immoral, Unjust For A Northerner To Succeed Buhari – ACF Yerima.
National President, of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) Alhaji Yerima Shettima has declared that it would be unfair for another Northerner to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari as the nation’s next leader. In an interview with TUNDE THOMAS and reported by Sunnewsonline, he also spoke on other national issues.
What’s your take on the present state of insecurity across the country?
It is very bad. It is very alarming. We never had it so bad in the country. But whatever has a beginning must surely have an end and this is why the federal government must rise up to the occasion.
This is not what Nigerians expected, having voted for the APC, a party that promised change in 2015. This is not the kind of change Nigerians bargained for security-wise. But I believe strongly that there will be a change for good if government approaches the issue with all the seriousness it deserves.
What should the government do to find a lasting solution to the insecurity challenges?
We can have community policing or state police to complement the efforts of federal security agencies. This is how it is done in other places. You have the federal and the state police. They complement one another.
But we should get it right first at the federal level. More work is still to be done by the military, then state police or community policing can now come in.
Although there is no country in the world that is crime-free or where you have perfection, what we are saying is that our security agencies have to improve on the present situation. They have to do more because nobody can tell me that these bandits and kidnappers are more powerful than the government or armed forces.
Some people have said it’s only restructuring that can solve Nigeria’s many challenges. Do you agree?
There is no alternative to restructuring if we want to become a great nation. Our leaders claim that Nigeria is a federal state and that we are practicing federalism, but this is nothing but a false claim.
What we are practicing is seriously flawed federalism. It is a mockery of true federalism. The central or what we call the federal government is too powerful, and this is not supposed to be so in true federalism.
I have always been an advocate of restructuring, and I believe that this is the time, or for the new govt that is coming after Buhari to embrace restructuring because there is no alternative to it if we want to realize our potential as a nation.
We need to decentralize in order to make the center less attractive. We need to devolve more powers to the federating units as too much power is concentrated in the hands of the central government.
What’s your assessment of the last seven and half years of the APC-led government?
They have done their best, and they can’t do more than what they’ve done up till now. Although in some areas like infrastructure provision in terms of roads, and railway construction, the government has tried.
But in terms of corruption, this government has not done a lot to fight it. We expect more than this but they didn’t get it right.
However, they’ve done their best, and they can’t do better than what they’ve done, so we wish them well while we pray for the next government to be better than this. You can’t give what you don’t have. We should leave the rest for history to judge them. But we should pray that the next government should be better than this.
Can Nigerians vote for another Northerner after Buhari’s eight years in office? What would that portend for Nigeria’s unity?
It will be very unfair for another Northerner to step in after Buhari. It will be immoral and unjust. For equity and justice, Buhari’s successor should come from the South. It will be unfair for us to support a Northerner to emerge as Buhari’s successor. The South should produce Buhari’s successor.
Although I’m not an advocate of zoning, and I will never support zoning because it is not in Nigeria’s constitution but for fairness, and justice, and for the sake of Nigeria’s unity, the Presidency should come to the South in 2023.
However, it is Nigerians that will decide, and to that extent, the choice will be made by Nigerians. But like I said earlier for fairness, and justice, it should be the turn of the South in 2023. Nigeria belongs to all of us, and we must give everybody a sense of belonging.
What’s your take on INEC’s preparations for the 2023 general elections?
INEC under the leadership of Prof. Mahmoud Yacoub has been doing well, and there is no doubt that they are ready for the elections. I implore Nigerians to support the commission to succeed. Although some anti-democratic elements have been attacking INEC offices across the country, these forces of darkness will not succeed.
They must be fished out, and be made to face justice. INEC must be given all the support it needed to conduct successful polls. Prof. Yacoub and his team are doing a yeoman’s job, I have no doubt that INEC will live up to expectations in 2023.
In other news, Afenifere said the North can’t dictate to the rest of the country who becomes president. Speaking to PUNCH newspaper, the leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo said,
“It was said that the South-East must come to negotiate with the North because politics is a game of numbers. My case is and I told people yesterday, the case for the East is not to beg for a favor; it is their right. Yet, each time I hear that they should go around because the North has the population, what fraudulent population? You can’t sell that to me.
“They tell us to work together but unfortunately because they now have produced a president at the helm of affairs, they say ‘no one can become the president except you come to the North.
unfortunately, some southerners have been brainwashed that they can’t do anything except they bow to the North. I don’t believe it.
“What right has the North to dictate who will become our president? We were brought together not by peace, not by agreement, they forced us together and we agreed, so to continue to live together in peace must be by agreeable terms.
The East has the right not because he is Igbo but because it is in Nigeria. The principle of Afenifere is on ideological basis and principle of rightness, inclusiveness and not any sentiment.”
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