From Billy Graham Abel, Yola
The Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) has denounced as false the claims in some local and international media that it has endorsed Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike as its candidate for President in 2023.
NYLF National Chairman Elliot Afiyo said the Forum has its protocols for endorsing a candidate and that the process is already in progress to endorse one.
Afiyo described as false and misleading claims by the BBC and VOA that Governor Wike or any other candidate has been endorsed for President by the Forum.
Elliot made the remarks in a press statement made available to Daily Sun Tuesday.
Afiyo said following one of the Forum’s NEC meeting in Sokoto, only three persons, namely Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed, Raymond Dokpesi and Bola Ahmed Tinubu, were presented by the political committee of the Forum for possible endorsement, but the group has yet to endorse anyone.
Afiyo clarifies that the Forum’s endorsement will not happen before May 20, when delegates of all its 42 affiliates groups will endorse a candidate by a two-thirds majority.
The attention of the Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) has been drawn to so many publications in print and electronic media both in national and international media organizations claiming that the NYLF has endorsed Senator Bala Mohammed, Chief Raymond Dokpesi or Senator Bola Tinunbu as our preferred candidates for 2023 presidential elections during our NEC meeting in Sokoto on the 10th of April, 2021,’ Eliot said.
‘Despite the fact that our Political Committee Chairman, Sadiq Abubakar, has held a Press Conference in Kano to clarify the position of the NYLF, yet, some media organizations went ahead to broadcast and print erroneous reports.’
Setting the record straight, Afiyo said: ‘To this end, I wish to state clearly that the NEC meeting in Sokoto was purposely convened to receive the political committee’s Report and fix a date for the Delegates Conference during which the Delegates comprising all the Chairmen and Secretaries of the 42 affiliated Youth Organizations and all the Zonal Officers will vote.
‘The candidate to be endorsed must get two-third of the total votes.
‘During our NEC meeting in Gombe on the 14th of February, 2021, the NEC shortlisted thirteen (13) Politicians and directed the political committee to carry out thorough research or checking on them and put forward their recommendations to the NEC.
‘From the Report presented to us only Senator Bala Mohammed, Chief Raymond A. Dokpesi and Senator Bola Tinunbu were recommended for consideration by the NEC.’
He queried that ‘we then wondered from where the BBC and VOA got their own report that included Governor Nyesom Wike among the recommended persons and was subsequently endorsed by the NEC of the NYLF.
‘We want to reiterate and state clearly without any fear of contradiction that the NYLF has not and would not endorse anybody until the 20th of May, 2021 which, by the grace of God, will be done in public view and in a transparent manner.
‘Until then, the public should discard and disregard any information on the endorsement of Candidates by the NYLF for 2023 Presidential Elections.
‘We are not unaware of the scheming by some groups but we have resolved and unequivocal too, to avoid the mistake of past.
‘Thank you all.’