Arewa Youths back restructuring, says it's the only way to go, - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE


Sunday, 7 November 2021

Arewa Youths back restructuring, says it's the only way to go,

By Our Correspondent


The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has identified a restructuring model where power should be devolved to states as panacea to the myriad of challenges bedevilling the country. 

Nigeria has had to grapple with insurgency, insecurity, corruption, underdevelopment and a host of other challenges that have continued to hold the country back from achieving its huge potentials.

But addressing journalists on the way out at the weekend, AYCF National President Yerima Shettima said restructuring would bring back the series of development as witnessed during the days of the regions. 

He equally stated that ahead of the 2023 general elections, the youth would not support any candidate above 60 years. 

“I believe in restructuring, I want power to revert back to the regions or states, so that there would be less concentration of power at the federal level. Corruption has destroyed things in Nigeria. Awolowo, Zik and Sardauna would not have achieved what they did then if the settings were the way they are now. They achieved that much because powers were concentrated at the regions.”

Yerima recalled that back in 2007, he alongside and other human rights activists, came together to seek amendment of the constitution.

“They drafted a constitution which they wanted the courts to compel the National Assembly and the Federal Government then to compare with the 1999 Constitution to see how the loopholes in the constitution can be addressed but the courts never responded. 

“The 1999 Constitution does not create room for an exit, or a referendum that would allow a group exit the country. We are of the view that a room for referendum should be created.  Those agitating for secession should be allowed to have a referendum, let’s see how popular the agitations are. If any part of the country wants to go, organise a referendum let’s see how popular they are, so that separation can take place without bloodshed,” he said.

He expressed belief “in the oneness of Nigeria with mutually beneficial relationship for all the federating units, but won’t stand against anyone willing to leave. 

“I am one of those who strongly believe in oneness of Nigeria. I have never said that Nigeria should disintegrate. Most of my close associates are Yoruba and Igbo. I schooled in Lagos State University.”