…We will resist plan to oust Buhari over ill-health
- …NEF restates support for Osinbajo, names Paul Unongo as leader
- By Soni Daniel &Henry Umoru
A group of northern youths, yesterday, claimed that a plan to oust President Muhammed Buhari on account of his ill-health had been launched.
The group fingered the South-West as being behind the alleged plan. The claim came amid the ripples generated by the notice issued to the Igbo people by a coalition of northern youths to leave the North by October 1.
The group of northern youths, under the aegis of Arewa Youth Forum, spoke on a day the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) asked those taking advantage of Buhari’s ill-health to make political case for themselves, to stop their activities forthwith.
NEF spokesperson, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, also announced the emergence of Paul Unongo, Second Republic politician, as the group’s leader following the demise of the convener, Alhaji Maitama Sule.
The Arewa Youth Forum, in a statement obtained by Sunday Vanguard, yesterday, also warned that the North will not accept anything other than the region retaining the presidency in 2019, with or without Buhari.
In the statement released by their National President, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gunjungu, in Abuja, the youths said they were aware of the “political games” some political leaders in the South-West were playing over the health of the President to edge him out and take over.
The Arewa youths accused the South-West politicians of using Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose and a PDP chieftain to champion their cause, insisting that the North would resist any attempt to take over power from them now or in 2019.
They particularly challenged Fayose to produce the eleven pictures which he claimed to show the President on life support or refrain from any commentary on the health of Buhari.
Their words, “These South-West people think that we do not understand the politics they are playing but we want to assure them that we perfectly understand their game and will shock them when the time comes.
“It is annoying and disappointing that while we in the North are making efforts to stabilize the country against the backdrop of the recent call for the expulsion of those from the North, some people want to show us that they understand the game of politics more than us. But they are in for a surprise.
“Let us reveal that after our recent meeting in Kaduna, a delegation was sent to London. We sent that delegation because we wanted to to know the truth of the situation.
“We met with the President and he told us some things. All we can say now is that our President will soon be back and people would witness drastic changes in the country. Many people will be surprised when he comes.
“Also we want it on record that youths from the North will not accept a repeat of what happened during the late Umaru Musa Yar’adua presidency. In 2919, the North must complete its eight years. This region can no longer continue to be taken for a ride.”
The youths lambasted northern governors for keeping quiet and even jostling for the Vice President’s slot, insisting that was time to stand up and defend the region and Buhari.
NEF, in its statement, yesterday, warned individuals, groups or sections of the country it accused of jostling to replace ailing Buhari, warning such persons and groups to stop that now. The group said it will not abandon its mandate to protect the interests of the people of the North. It explained that it was undergoing extensive reforms with the goal of improving its effectiveness and impact in the defence of northern interest.
The group restated its support for Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, saying those involved in power struggle should respect the Constitution.
Meanwhile, the Convener of the Niger Delta Self -Determination Movement, Anni-kio Briggs, has urged the Federal Government to not only listen to the agitation from different groups in the country, but also do something about it.
Briggs made the call, yesterday, in Abuja as one of the panelists at the 2017 Feast of Barracuda hosted by the Association of Seadogs Confraternity.
On the issue of true federalism, the Chairman of the event and former Minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye, called on the authorities to entrench the principles of federalism, adding that it was injustice and sheer corruption for a region to produce oil, while another region controls it without considering where it is coming from.