You Are Not Speaking For The North, Arewa Youth Tells NEF, Marafa*

*You are not speaking for the north, Arewa youth tells NEF, Marafa*

_…declares total support for Tinubu, Matawalle_

A conglomerate of the northern youth movement has declared its support for the administration of President Bola Tinubu, insisting that his policies and programmes to revamp the economy and fight insecurity in the country are on course.

The group berated the recent utterances of some members of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), describing their outburst as personal and not in the interest of the northern region.

The movement which parades, the Arewa Consultative Youth Movement (ACYM), Northern Youth Association of Nigeria (NYAN), and Congress of Arewa Youth for Peace and Equity (CAYPE) in a press conference jointly addressed by the leaders of the groups also faulted the criticism of the minister of state for defence, Bello Matawalle by Sen. Kabiru Marafa.

Recall that Matawalle in his statement titled ‘Tinubu Presidency: Northern Elders Forum, a political burden to the North, they do not speak for the region,’ claimed that the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) were “political paperweight” and a burden to the region”.

In his reaction, Marafa countered the minister, stating that it was disrespectful to state that elders of the region who contributed significantly to President Tinubu’s victory were insignificant and burdensome to the nation.

But briefing journalists on Tuesday, April 223, in Abuja, the spokesperson for the three groups, Amb. Kabiru Yusuf threw their weight behind the Minister of State for Defence, describing Marafa as a hypocrite who while trying to support the government of the day is also defending NEF.

They also emphasised that some of the Northern Elders never supported the emergence of President Tinubu.

“As representatives of the Arewa Consultative Youth Movement, Northern Youth Association of Nigeria, and Congress of Arewa Youth for Peace and Equity, we unequivocally state that Kabiru Marafa’s tirade targeted at the Minister of State for Defense, Dr. Bello Mattawale, in a pretentious bid to defend the Northern Elders Forum and still express support for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is at best the worst form of hypocrisy and a struggle between the former senator’s loyalty to the government of the day and its enemies.

“We are utterly disappointed by his comments claiming that Minister Matawalle, by chiding the Northern Elders Forum, was creating enmity between the President and the North. This is nothing but hogwash and a poor interpretation of events by Kabiru Marafa. In fact, it calls to question his basic understanding of the events that transpired, leading to Matawalle’s well-intentioned and well-delivered response to the forum. The forum, in its highhandedness and delusion, claimed that it now regrets supporting President Bola Tinubu’s bid for the office of Nigeria’s president.

“The Forum, in a state of forgetfulness, dipped in self-delusion, forgot that it never supported the APC nor its presidential candidate. It both in private and public gave its support to the opposition PDP candidate. Worse, it has in a bid to assert its prominence claimed to speak for the North. The North, comprising 19 States, has never appointed anyone to speak for it.

“Any gang of old and middle-aged men can gather together and call themselves a Forum of Elders, but that does not in any way make them a Forum for over 140 million people. No one ever appointed the Northern Elders Forum as a middleman to interface between the region and the government of the day,” the coalition added.

The northern group however charged leaders from the region to show appreciation to the present administration by contributing to the development of the region and the country at large.

He said: “Like the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, stated in Sokoto State last week, President Bola Ahmed has indeed saddled some Northern individuals with important positions in his administration as a show of gratitude for the region’s contribution to his electoral victory. What the North now owes Mr. President is to ensure that these selected highly elevated Northern individuals continue to work towards the uplifting and development of the region and the country in general.

“We are here to say that the North, led by a majority of sound forward-thinking leaders like Bello Matawalle, stand by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We see his reforms. They are hard pills to swallow, but we know that in due course, there would be results in abundance. We reject the claims of Kabiru Marafa and his hypocritical friends at the Northern Elders Forum. We stand fully with the North and President Tinubu.”

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