The apparent move by President Muhammadu Buhari to seek re-election in 2019 appears to have set Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) and Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) against each other.
Following the recent appointment of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as the Director General (DG) of the Presidential Campaign Organisation, AYF in a statement by its head, Alhaji Ibrahim Gambo Gugungu, had kicked against Buhari’s second term bid, describing such as insensitive, inhuman and insulting to the entire northern youths.
AYF also frowned that the announcement of DG for the president’s campaign organisation was coming at a time there was a record of mass murders of innocent Nigerians in Rivers, Benue, Kwara, and Kaduna states, due to insecurity in the country.
But in its response, CNG distanced self from the position of the AYF and argued that northerners were yet to take a position on the issue of the president having a second term in office.
In a statement through its spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, CNG disowned AYF, explaining that AYF has no affiliation or connection with it. Suleiman said that members of CNG are easily identified with green scarves and an inscription “Proudly Nigerian”.
He said, “The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) whose members wear green scarves with the inscription ‘proudly Nigerian’ has distanced itself from a newspaper report that described President Muhammadu Buhari’s perceived re-election bid as insensitive.
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“What we are concerned with presently is the more imminent and present danger of abuse of illicit drugs and other harmful substances that are currently ravaging northern households and Youth. We became alarmed when the report in question boldly bears the photographs of some of our Coalition leaders whereas we are not in any way connected to it.
“We are currently deep in the struggle of saving the north from the scourge of drug abuse particularly among its youth and womenfolk. It is to be made abundantly clear to all that the Arewa Youth Forum which made the claim against the president is neither a member nor an affiliate of the CNG”.