Sunday, February 4, 2024

2023: Coalition of Northern Groups Back Ahmad Lawan, Urge APC To Cede Presidency To North East

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A Coalition of Northern Nigeria Youth groups comprising the Northern Youth Council Of Nigeria (NYCN), Association Of Northern Nigerian Students (ANNS), Arewa Youth Consultative Council (AYCC), Arewa Youth For Good Governance (AYGG) under the auspices of Arewa Youth Peace Initiative (AYPI), have endorsed the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan as their consensus candidate for the 2023 presidential election.

The group also urged the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to cede the 2023 presidency to the North East geo-political zone for fairness, equity and justice.

The group made their position known during a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday afternoon.

The National Coordinator of the group, Yakubu Muhd Arigu, emphasized on the need for Nigerians to support the North East geo-political zone and Senator Ahmad Lawan.

Read full statement below:


Ladies & gentlemen of the press,

We are Coalition of Northern Nigerian Youth groups comprises Northern Youth Council Of Nigeria NYCN, Association Of Northern Nigerian Students ANNS, Arewa Youth Consultative Council AYCC, Arewa Youth For Good Governance (AYGC), under the auspices of Arewa Youth Peace Initiative (AYPI), with the sole aim of advancing Good Governance, National Unity, Promotion of Religious Tolerance for the peaceful co-existence and the overall advancement of socioeconomic development of Nigeria.

Out of our curiosity and positive thought, it has become absolutely imperative to write and urge Nigerians to unanimously cede the 2023 presidency to the North East geo-political zone for the interest of fairness, equity and justice, and subsequently, adopt the Senate President, His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ahmed Lawan as the sole candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2023 presidential election.

Why the North East Geo-political Zone?

The South-East and North-East geo-political zones are badly marginalized since the return of democracy in 1999.

While we thought the ticket will automatically be zoned to the South-East, the South West and South South zones that have ruled Nigeria respectively, are working assiduously to hijack the process; we have resolved just like Distinguished Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to say, instead of South West and South South, it should go to the North East geo-political zone. Those who talk of marginalisation should join hands today in highlighting the plight of our brothers in the North East who are going through hell imposed on them by all Nigerians even as we believe that the North should take a break and give others the opportunity to taste the prime position.

We stand with the North-East and if some of them do not see things from our point of view, we shall open their eyes to the imbalance in the system.

The only North-Easterner to have ruled Nigeria was Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (1957-1966). And we must not forget that even in that position, the most powerful Northerner, was Sir Ahmadu Bello, Premier of the Northern region who sent Balewa to Lagos, in the first place.

The North-West has produced Generals Murtala Mohammed, Muhammadu Buhari, Sani Abacha and Presidents Shehu Shagari and Umaru Yar’Adua. Rulers from the North Central include Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdusalami Abubakar.

From the South-East, we saw Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi. The South-West gave us General Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Ernest Shonekan. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan filled the South-South quota. And when leaders from the other zones reigned, they did not follow anyone’s dictates.

We really have to feel for the North East. This region produced the country’s First Prime Minister. The first Nigerian Governor of the Northern region, Sir Kashim Ibrahim, hailed from there. The first indigenous Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN ), Alhaji Ali Mai Bornu came from that region. The zone also produced the first Northern Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ibrahim Jalo Waziri.

The first Sandhurst trained Nigeria Army officer, Zakariya Maimalari, commissioned in 1953 and the first Northern Inspector General of Police, Kam Selem, were born in the North East. By 1962, Selem born in Dikwa, was a police commissioner. And when Gowon was commissioned in 1956, the cop was already a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP ).

Historically, the North-Easterners cannot play second fiddle as the Jihadists had no reason to move in after Idris Alooma had done the needful. So the Empire of Kanem Bornu existed before the Caliphate.

In politics, the North-West and
North-Central were way behind. In 1947, Malam Zanna Bukar Dipcharima was part of the delegation to London following the Richard’s Constitution. After the 1954 elections, there were three ministers from the North. The North-East produced Balewa (Transport and Works) and Muhammadu Ribadu (Mines and Power).

When the first All Nigerian cabinet was formed on August 3, 1957, three of the four Northern members : Balewa, Ribadu and Dipcharima, were from the North-East. The loner was Inua Wada, Murtala’s uncle, from the South-West. So it does appear that the moment the Army took over, there was a deliberate attempt to punish the North-East.

With Balewa’s assassination in 1966, the next senior cabinet minister, Ribadu was in Switzerland. However, Dipcharima was the next in line. But the soldiers were handed over power. And when war broke out, the North-East did more than the other Nigerian zones in terms of command positions.

It began with Col. Mohammed Shuwa who commanded the first Division. Ibrahim Haruna followed after Murtala abandoned the Second Division. Col. Gibson Jalo took over from Haruna. The import is that the North-East was the only region that produced three GOCs during the civil war.

Strange enough, Jalo was also marginalised after proving himself in battle. He was made GOC when some of his seniors were in the rear. Born in March, 1939, Jalo enlisted on September 25,1959 and after training at Cadet Training School Mons, Aldershot, was commissioned in November 1960.

At the time Jalo became a GOC on May 12, 1969, his seniors like Folusho Sotomi (joined 1956, commissioned 1959), Godwin Ally (joined March 30, 1959) and James Oluleye (joined September 9, 1959) were not considered. Yet when Murtala struck in 1975, he picked Yakubu Danjuma as Army Chief.

Danjuma enlisted in April 1960 alongside Alani Akinrinade, Ben Gbulie, Alabi Isama, Simon Uwakwe, Martin Adamu, Sule Appolo and David Bamigboye. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant on March 3, 1961. Danjuma who was in Aldershot between October 1960 and March 1961, and was not a GOC during the war, was made Chief of Army Staff ahead of Jalo who spent June 1960 to November 1960 in Aldershot.

Jalo was also senior to Akinrinade, who was Danjuma’s mate, but Obasanjo and Danjuma fixed Akinrinade as Army Chief by passing Jalo. It was Shagari that got it right when Jalo was put in place of Akinrinade. And for the first time, Nigeria had a Chief of Defence Staff in Akinrinade. That was no office.

We must look at the fact that Major Hamza al Mustapha from Yobe could have assumed power when he discovered that Abacha was gone. The young man alerted his seniors. Not many would do that. Vice President Atiku Abubakar could have been President in 2003. He deferred to Obasanjo and lost out completely.

After June 12, the South-West got the presidency. After militancy, Jonathan emerged. Let us give the North-East their due.

Why Distinguished Senator Ahmed Lawan?

We believe that, he has the leadership acumen, capacity, dexterity and contacts to govern a complex nation like Nigeria.

We believe that his personality, foresight, leadership style and experience will bring lots of development and prosperity to millions of Nigerians.

Nigerians must also know that the goodwill, respect, honour and popularity enjoyed by him across the nation is because of his undying influence and love for the unity and development of Nigeria.

We believe that honour is reciprocal and that if a man is honoured by his people, it will only be right for the one that is honoured to also honour those that honoured him. The best way the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, can reciprocate the immense goodwill, respect and honour given to it by the Senate President is to heed to this call by zoning the presidency to the North East geo-political zone and adopting the Senate President, Distinguished Senator Ahmed Lawan, as its sole candidate in the 2023 presidential election, because we believe that he will chart a new course for our nation through purposeful and selfless leadership.

Finally, we are with the view that Nigeria would never attain prosperity without fairness, equity and justice.

Thank you.
May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Comrd Yakubu Muhd Arigu, National Coordinator;

Comrd Hussaini Abubakar, Secretary General;

Comrd Musa Yahaya Waziri, Publicity Secretary;

Comrd Ishiaku David, North East Zonal Leader;

Comrd Rebecca Orgen,

North Central;

Comrd Umar Abdulahi,
North West.

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