About four northern youth groups have endorsed the October, 2014 deadline given by elders in the region for President Goodluck Jonathan to either bring an end to the present security and economic crises in the region or decline his second term drive.
A statement issued by leaders of the Arewa Citizens Action for Change, the Arewa Youth Development Foundation, the Arewa Students’ Forum and the Northern Youth Union for Peace jointly signed by Barrisster Aliyu Usman, Malam Sani Darma, Abdul Dogara and Sanusi Ibrahim Gashua said the position of the elders is outright commendable and deserving of support by all concerned northerners.
“We met and reviewed the ultimatum given to President Jonathan and collectively found it as timely as it is necessary and hereby lend our full support to the courageous position taken by the Northern Elders Forum.
“We are further of the belief that the ultimatum should not be limited to Jonathan merely declining his 2015 ambition but that he should vacate his office at the end of the ultimatum to give way for the conduct of fresh and acceptable round of elections.
“We must also state that we found the presidency’s response through the SSA Doyin Okupe as grossly inadequate as it was unfocused and inarticulate,” the groups said, adding that apart from the usual attempt at trading blames and excluding the president from a responsibility that is clearly his, Okupe’s response did not even come close to addressing the issues raised by the elders.
The statement further warned that failure to meet the conditions set out in the elders’ ultimatum, the people of the north would have no option that to embark on a large scale mass protests to ensure compliance.
“Time has come when the north can no longer afford to remain quite while its people are being killed, maimed, orphaned, widowed and its lands and property devastated by a make-believe insurgency in which the federal administration is clearly complicit,” the youths pointed out.
They also commended the elders’s courage in taking the bull by its horns, by spelling out the compromising posture of the crop of northerners currently serving in high positions of authority in the administration for keeping silent in the face of an onslaught on the region, with imminent dire consequences.
The groups particularly took a jibe Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, Reps Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and other northerners in top defence and security positions for what they called “apparent complicity and obvious compromise at the expense of the north and its people”.