A Yoruba socio-political Youth Advocacy movement, Afenifere For Collective Transformation (ACT) has berated the Ohanaeze Ndigbo for the group’s reckless statement on the stand of Governor Yahaya Bello that zoning is unconstitutional.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo made the statement on Monday in a release signed by its Publicity Secretary Chief Alex Ogbonnia describing Governor Yahaya Bello as a secondary school student at the time the agreement was made.
But, ACT in a press release, jointly signed by the Director General, Prince Tolu Ajayi and the Chief Press Secretary to the DG, Comrade Salami Taiwo Ramon noted that Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s statement was one that tends to relegate the relevant of Nigerian youths at a time leaders and groups across the globe are encouraging their youths and young generation to take over the mantle of leadership.
According to the release, “Ohanaeze Ndigbo has proven to be a socio-cultural group that does not want or seek the progress of Nigerian youths. We believe this is why youths across the east are practically restless with one form of violence and agitation or the other due to the fact that their leaders are so power drunk that they hardly include them in policy making not to talk of governance. Ohanaeze Ndigbo should have made an example of Governor Yahaya Bello to their youths as someone to look up to and emulate rather than going around with reckless statement about the governor. It is this kind of statement from leaders of a region that further makes youths in such region to see violence and unruly behaviour as norm and ways of life.”
On the issue of rotational presidency, the group noted that if Ohanaeze Ndigbo is truthful with itself, why has the group been agitating for a return of presidency to the east and not wait patiently for their turn? If Ohanaeze Ndigbo cannot wait and respect the rotational presidency agreement it signed in 1998, then the group should keep mute and wait for their time. “It is understandable that the rush by the southeastern politicians to the ruling APC is for nothing but to achieve their vision of attaining the presidency in 2023 which PDP has not given them and definitely not ready to give them come 2023.
“We believe the attack on Governor Yahaya Bello’s statement by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo was nothing but to score cheap political points just to appease the powers that be in the APC if the 2023 presidency can work in their favour.
“We are not bothered about the stand of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo about the statement of Governor Yahaya Bello but we are ashamed that despite this age of global civilisation, such a group can think in such a backward manner.”
Afenifere For Collective Transformation ACT used the same medium of the press release to celebrate Governor Yahaya Bello as the pride of Nigerian youths and thus urged the governor not to be distracted by such statement as they are evidence of jealous politicking of the successes and gains of the governor.
“If Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna State can say he’s too old to contest for President at 62, Governor Zulum of Borno State can say any politician above 60 years should stay away from Presidency, if President Muhammad Buhari can sign the “not too young to run bill”, if the Ooni of Ife can publicly declare that younger generation can solve the problems we have in Nigeria. Then we should query the opinion of our Southern leaders about the relevance of youths in Leadership.
“Youths are not political slaves but today’s leader. It’s wrong to lead in your youthful days and still want to rule us in our own youthful days.”