By; KATO P LADAN, Kaduna
In its determination to ensure free and peaceful general election in 2023 , Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF ) has said that it will interface with major presidential aspirants to work out plans and strategies that would ensure peaceful conduct by contenders and their supporters before, during and after the 2023 general election.
This was contained in a communique issued in Kaduna, after a meeting of National Executive Committee (NEC) of the forum, where deliberations were made on various issues affecting Nigeria by members from states across the federation .
The seven item communique signed by Secretary General of the pro North Sociocultural group, Alhaji Murtala Aliyu enjoined political players to be cautious in their utterances and observe high degree of decorum in order not to overheat the temperature of the nation’s polity, sending a wrong signal to their supporters to see violence as legit .
According to the forum, there was already a widespread voter apathy across the country which it said must be tackled by sensitizing the electorate to see the imperative to discharge their civic responsibility by participating fully in the transitional process that would determine the future of Nigeria .
The forum decried deteriorating security situation in the northern part of Nigeria particularly , in Kaduna , Niger , Katsina Sokoto Zamfara and Borno with a call on federal and affected states to synergize by equipping security agencies to go after criminals .
” The ACF commends the efforts of the Federal and States governments and of course the Security agencies for scaling down the level of insecurity in most parts of the country especially in the North where insecurity had taken an alarming proportion , however , incidences of attacks on villages and highways and kidnappings in states of the Northwest/Northeast and parts of North-central are still happening which are worrisome.
” We call on the Security Agencies to revisit their strategy to root out these insurgents and terrorists to ensure and restore permanent peace to the land.
” The appeal also goes to the members of the media to be mindful of the information they dish out to the public , ” the communique urged .
It called attention of governments through emergency agencies to provide relief materials to flood victims to ameliorate their pains in the face of tragedies it noted had ravaged states such as Kogi , Jigawa and Niger .
” Lives have been lost while the survivors have lost their habitats , other belongings and in most cases their farm produce to the floods. Governments at all levels must come to the aid of those affected immediately and substantially.
” Global warming, which is the major course of the unprecedented flooding has caused devastating effects to our food security as a nation. Federal and States Government should put in place the mechanism and appropriate infrastructure to control further damages and destruction of property and provide adequate relief to the victims .
” ACF advises politicians to play by the rules , guard their utterances and everything possible to avoid heating up the polity.
” Campaigns should be issue-based. It has been observed that there is already a voter apathy. Sectarian and divisive issues must be avoided at all cost in order to further discourage rational voters from exercising their civic rights. Nigeria must be safe and stable for any meaningful progress to be achieved and for the winner, who ever he may be to give leadership. It is in this regard that the ACF together with other Northern groups arrange to meet with various Presidential candidates to know their policies towards uniting and developing the entire country.
” ACF also enjoins the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a proper and transparent elections by maintaining and even surpassing their current records. The government on its part, together with other development partners must provide adequate and timely resources to achieve this .
” ACF is saddened by the protracted and unresolved dispute between the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government.
“To resolve the dispute, the parties must have the interest of education and the future of our children and the nation at heart. ACF advises the Government to shift ground while emphatically asking the ASUU members to show sympathy for the future of the students and consider offers made by Government and respect the rule of law.
” The ACF observed that except the Local Governments are made to be functional our development outcome will remained dismal. Youth and able bodied men and women migrate from Local Government Areas to the cities due to lack of functional Local Government Administrations escalating insecurity such as kidnapping, armed robbery and the like. ACF calls on the political leadership of the country to ensure that the LGA administrations work. This is the only way democracy can be sustained.
” National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency the ACF has observed with the delight recent performance of the national drugs law enforcement agency (NDLEA), that has already led to the exposure and arrest of leading drugs traffickers.
” While we urge the NDLEA not to relent in it efforts, we wish to remind similar law enforcement agencies to emulate these performance.
” Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria ACF congratulates Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, the premier university in Northern Nigeria, for attaining the age of 60.
” The ABU has produced many icons and achievers and is still proudly contributing its quota to the development our dear country and humanity in general , ” it said .