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Northern govs backpedal, identify with social media, woo youths

Young Nigerians blame leaders for region’s woes
The 19 northern governors, yesterday, backed down on their call for clampdown on social media, even as they inaugurated a committee to work with Arewa youths and civil society organisations to develop the region.

Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Plateau chief executive, Simon Bako Lalong said: “We are gathered here for a very important assignment in the progress and development of the northern region and Nigeria as a whole, as we inaugurate the Special Committee on Youths and Civil Societies under the chairmanship of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli.”

He said their position on new media was misconstrued, urging relevant stakeholders to support the platform for the development of the country.

Itemising some of the challenges to include kidnapping, banditry and underdevelopment, the young Nigerians under the auspices of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) sought support of their southern counterparts to end bad governance in Nigeria.

In a statement yesterday in Kaduna by its National President, Yeriman Shettima, the group submitted: “After exhaustive but fruitful deliberations on the state of the nation, we have come to the conclusion that the North must focus primarily on quality, capability and age of our elected representatives for 2023.

“We are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the quality of leadership we have got from the North has been disappointing and embarrassing to the political expertise and integrity that our region has been known.

“We find the rising tide of kidnapping and banditry in northern states unacceptable and a smear on all efforts to build a greater North of the future.”

Besides, Shettima said: “It will be extremely hard to convince anybody that majority of our governors are really in charge or have anything tangible to offer, five years down the road,” noting: “There are of course a few good ones, but we should have gone beyond this level by now.”

He went on: “This might even be the reason why majority of these governors are ignoring the substance and chasing shadows, namely control of social media. Who says social media is the problem of the mass majority of our people?”

Insisting that the older generation has almost ruined the nation’s future, the AYCF leader noted: “We have for too long allowed old political cargoes to decide or determine who should go for which elective office in the North, and the few among them who know what is right get blocked by other governors from guiding the region aright.

“The result of this going-with-the-flow kind of disposition of the youth is the emergence of many incompetent old cargoes as governors and few good ones, leading to general backwardness of our region.”

“We have therefore agreed that the present level of insecurity in the North is a proof that we voted in 2019 to many wrong sets of leaders, whose priority is a far cry from the needs and aspirations of our people.

“Our plans are therefore in top gear to mobilise the youths of our region to immediately take over the democratic space,” he added.

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