By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, 42 northern groups under the umbrella of Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF), has endorsed the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed whom they said has all it takes to save NIgeria from you it’s present security challenges and economic woes.
The group made it’s position known at a World Press Conference held in Yola, the Adamawa State capital in Wednesday June 9, 2021.
Reading the text of the briefing, National Chairman of NYLF, Comrade Elliot Afiyo said Bala Mohammed’s choice came about through a democratic voting process, where 145 delegates from across the 19 Northern states participated.
Afiyo explained that out of the 145 votes cast, Senator Bala Mohammed got 116, while his opponent, High Chief Raymond Dokoesi scored 28 votes, with one turning out invalid.
“I hereby declare today the 9th of June, 2021 that the NYLF the umbrella body of the 42 Northern Youth Groups has publicly endorsed Senator Bala Mohammed as our choiced Candidate for the 2023 Presidential Election under any Political Party.
“For the benefit of doubt for some of you that may not identify Senator. Bala Mohammed physically, we hereby unveil the different faces of our choiced Candidate and we strongly believed and truly too, that he will surely fix our dear Nation-Nigeria.
“To this end, I am hereby directing all our members in Nigeria and abroad, to immediately commence consultations, lobbying and campaigning for the choiced Candidate even though we are yet to contact him,” he said.
Speaking further, he said that by this directive, all the 42 affiliated Youth Groups and other Youth Groups that their applications for affiliation are pending, who are observers today, have resolved and an equivocally too, to work assiduously and collectively to ensure the logical conclusion of our resolution.
“We want to reiterate our genuine commitment to the Nigerian project and ensure her corporate existence by putting the National interest above any other interest.
“We are aware of threats, intimations, blackmails and others, which always come after every of our endorsement from Nigerians, we are also prepared for such.
We are ever determined to ensure that justice and equity reign supreme in Nigeria in order to secure our future and the future of the generations yet unborn.
“We want to assure Nigerians that the problems of insecurity, poverty and unemployment bedeviling our country will soon be over, Therefore, Nigerians should continue to have faith in God and pray without ceasing.
Nigeria definitely will be restored,” he prayed.
Afiyo explained that it is no longer news that the Northern Youth Leaders Forum (a Forum comprising of 42 Northern Youth Groups) has been saddled with the responsibility of shortlisting, investigating, screening and endorsing a credible candidate for every Presidential election by her Patrons since 1999 till date.
“This onerous and patriotic task is considered among many others, as a necessity and the most important duty by the NYLF which is being pursued vigorously and religiously by the Forum since 1999 to 2019,” he stressed.
Speaking further, he said that the NYLF initially shortlisted 27 Candidates during their National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Gombe on the 4th of February, 2021.
“These Candidates were presented to our Political Committee headed by Dr. Sani Musa as Chairman and Prof. Abdullahi Sadiq Abubakar as Secretary and was given two months to complete the screening and prune them to 3 Candidates.
Consequently, the Committee did a thorough job being Political and Intelligence Experts and finally submitted 3 names to the National Executive Committee (NEC).
“These names were properly screened by the NEC during our NEC meeting in Kano on the 17th of May, 2021 and two of the three names were adopted and qualified for voting,” he said.