By Billy Graham Abel, Yola
The Northern Leaders Youth Forum (NLYF) with its about forty two affiliate bodies, have snubbed Atiku, Bola Tinubu, among other big names connected to the 2023 Presidency and have endorsed governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state, as its preferred candidate come 2023 presidential election in Nigeria.
The Forum, led by its national chairman, Afiyo Elliot, said it voted for the first time to endorse Bala Mohammed, saying it is time for Nigeria’s restoration and that it has confidence that Governor Bala Mohammed, has the capacity and competence to address Nigeria’s economic, political and security challenges.
The group’s national chairman, Elliot Afiyo, made this known close of the group voting process, sequel to its 27th national delegates conference in Yola, Adamawa state.
The group, touted to be north’s most formidable human mobiliser, it would commit it resources the cause of Bala Mohammed presidency and would not take no for an answer from the current Bauchi state governor.
Afiyo addressing press in Yola said, “It is no longer news that the Northern Youth Leaders Forum (a Forum comprises 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.”
The Forum’s national chairman explained that, “Following a definite move and subsequent genuine calls for the unveiling of our Candidate by the majority of our teeming Members and Nigerians especially the Northerners, it was resolved last week that the voting must be done on the 9th of June, 2021 and the unveiling of the voted Candidate to the public be done thereafter.
“Consequent upon this resolution, the voting was carried out some minutes ago and the unveiling is to be done now accordingly.
“It is pertinent to note that all the Members of the National Executive Committee are present and voted for the first time since the establishment of this Forum.”
Announcing the result of its voting process, Eliot said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Gov Bala Mohammed scored the highest votes of 116, and therefore met the requirements as specified by our Constitution for the endorsement as candidate this organisation will support in 2023.
“I hereby declare that the NYLF, the umbrella body of the 42 Northern Youth Groups has publicly endorsed Bala Mohammed as our choiced Candidate for the 2023 Presidential Election under any Political Party.
“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.”
Restating the groups position, Afiyo said, “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.
“We would like to state clearly 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.
“This endorsement however, does not and will not stop any group from endorsing any candidate of their choice. But for us in NYLF and all the affiliated groups our endorsement of Gov Bala Mohammed of Bauchi remains sacrosanct and this is our standpoint and there is no going back.
“All our groups and indeed our Members are advised to disregard any directive or information except through our official channel and our code (number) for 2023 must be quoted. This is to avoid the confusion caused by some politicians in 2007.”
Addressing the chosen candidate, he said, “In lieu of the above thereof, we are calling on Bala Mohammed, as a matter of patriotism, to accept this decision of the Forum to contest the 2023 Presidency under any Political Party of his choice.
“We want to state clearly that he has no choice as his refusal will be considered or is tantamount to betrayal of trust and confidence by the teeming Northern Youth.
“We are not threatening him, but to tell him the gospel truth that his failure to come out now, will deny him his vibrant political future because we will ensure that we work against him politically and discredit whatever his political achievements if he fails to give us genuine and convincing reason why he would not contest in the 2023 presidential election.”
The group addressing the runner up in the contest said “We want to use this opportunity to also congratulate Raymond Dokpesi, who came second out of 27 people that were shortlisted.
“NYLF has no doubt that Dokpesi has the capacity to fix our Nation, Nigeria and we can proudly vouch for his integrity, doggedness, fairness and honesty.
“We are indeed very proud to have him in our generations. We sincerely appeal to him, to genuinely remain faithful and contribute to the peaceful co-existence of our Nation.”
Speaking on the state of the nation, Eliot said, “We want to reiterate our genuine commitment to the Nigerian project and ensure her corporate existence by putting National interest above any other interest.
“We are aware of threats, intimidations, 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.
“Thank you all and God bless you.”