By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has taken a swipe on Professor Itse Sagay for rejecting the reported 2023 presidential ambition of incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, saying “Sagay goofed real time”.
While reacting to Sagay’s claim that Kogi governor has no records to show to warrant his nursing Presidential ambition, AYCF’s National President, Alhaii Yerima Shettima said Prof Sagay was economical with the truth.
“I am not holding brief for the young Kogi Governor because I know he is capable of defending himself any day, but I am exercising my freedom of expression as a stakeholder of the Nigerian project.
“I think it is quite unfair to make pretentious comments about Kogi State, which is the most peaceful State in the North today”.
The AYCF President also said that the world in general and Nigeria in particular has come a long way to pay much attention to ideas being propagated by Professor Sagay because “both age and dynamic political thinking may not be in his favor at this stage of his lifetime”.
Alhaji Yerima noted that the global trend on the democratic scene has been in favor of mentoring of “energetic, newbreed of leaders” while the old ones take to advisory role based on their wisdom as elders and not the direct drivers of the democratic system”.
The AYCF leader said it was wrong for Professor Sagay to “indulge in subtle condemnation of young and upcoming new generation of Nigeria’s political class”.
On Professor Sagay’s claim that Governor Bello cannot run for the Presidency in 2023 because it would be the South’s turn, Alhaji Yerima said: “All Nigerians, including the people of Kogi State think their governor will be contesting in 2023 based on competence and not because he is Southerner or Northerner, unless Sagay thinks we are not practicing democracy but a turn-by-turn political system, which does not even exist in any system of civil governance in today’s world.
“Prof Sagay should respect the processes of electing a leader under a democratic system and perish the thought of undemocratic turn-by-turn contraption”.
He then advised Professor Sagay to visit a popular database known as “Kogipedia” and see a ” blow-by-blow account of all the achievements of the incumbent administration in the areas of health, education, security and infrastructure, before jumping to conclusions”, the AYCF said.