The Arewa Youths Consultative Forum in northern Nigeria on Friday vowed to reject recommendations and resolutions that would come out of the ongoing National Conference, saying President Goodluck Jonathan and state governors handpicked their loyalists as delegates, rather than allowing the people to choose those to represent them.
The forum said the mode of selection of delegates had already discredited the conference and its outcome, since the delegates did not represent the interest of the larger number of Nigerians.
Addressing a press conference at the end of a two day special summit for northern youths and student leaders in Kaduna, the President of the forum, Yerima Shettima, frowned at the criteria of selecting the delegates to the conference that saw the south allocated 272 delegates while the north had 220 despite its large land mass and population.
They called for the conduct of a fresh and credible National Conference that would reflect the interest of many Nigerians.
“The ongoing conference amounts to a brutal incursion into the sovereignty of the constitution that vests such powers in the National Assembly,” Shettima stated, insisting that those representing the north in the conference betrayed true representation of the youths of the region as they do not have the support of the generality of the people.
The youths also lamented the poor state of education and high rate of poverty in the north, which it said was as a result of bad leadership and indifference to genuine policies and programmes on agriculture and education.
On the security challenges confronting the north east and north central zones, the forum decried the spate of killing of innocent youths by security agents and members of the Boko Haram sect while little or no action had been taken by past and present leaders of the region to address the problem.
The group also questioned the disposition of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free and fair elections in 2015 and asked the National Assembly to come up with a law for the reconstitution of an independent electoral body whose members would be elected through a referendum by the people ahead of the election.
Contents Credit: Channels TV