The leadership of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, the youth wing of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, the Yoruba Youth Council and 54 other groups met in Abuja on Monday. The groups, in a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting, said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government had failed the nation.
They said the government had failed in securing the nation from the herdsmen killing people in the North and other parts of the country.
“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,” they said.
They vowed to mobilise Nigerian youths across all ethnic divides to work for a more stable and guaranteed future for the populace. This is just as they called on all Nigerian youths to rise up and be part of the selection process that would guarantee their future.
The meeting was convened by the National President, National Ethnic Nationalities Leaders, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, who is also the leader of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum. At the meeting, they examined the security situation in the country and the uncertainties in the political and economic environment.
Signatories to the communiqué included; Yerima, B. 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); and Eric Oluwole(National Secretary Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders and National President, Yoruba Youth Council.
They expressed concern that in the past three years of the Buhari presidency, Nigerians, especially youths, were being killed and maimed, under various guises while the country’s elite and politicians “only quarrel and raise further tensions.”
The groups said the meeting was necessitated by “our concern over the deepening poverty and restiveness among the nation’s youths due to long neglect by the authorities.” They said, “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 added that while the government of President Buhari had an upper hand over the Boko Haram insurgents, the sect appeared to be more emboldened with the recent abductions and intensified attacks and killings. As a way forward, the groups called on Nigerian youths to resist the temptations of being used as tools for the dirty jobs of unscrupulous politicians, religious and ethnic jingoists and merchants of hate and division.
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.”