The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), a political pressure group and umbrella body of all youth groups in Nigeria, said it has no group in its fold called Northern Leaders Youth Forum (NLYF).
It described the group as a faceless group- out to do the biddings of some politicians in the country, and cautioned political parties, politicians and Nigerians to adopt a wary approach in their dealings with similar groups.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Sun, in Kaduna, president of AYCF, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, said “we in the Arewa coalition are not aware of such a name and, therefore, cannot be said to be speaking on behalf of over six million youths of northern origin. As far as we are concerned, we do not know anybody called Elliot Afiyo, where he comes from in the North, or where the group emerged from.”
The NLYF, while speaking to newsmen in Abeokuta, submitted that it serves as the umbrella body for 46 northern youth organisations with over six million members and threatened to mobilise, massively, against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, should he stick to former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, as his running mate.
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The NLYF said it was against Atiku’s choice of Obi as his running mate because the former Anambra governor is anti-North, major sponsor of the Igbo separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and responsible for the exit of the deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, from the PDP.
But, rising in stout denial of the group, Shettima said he was responding to issues raised by the group because of the need to put the records straight.
“The so called group and its leader, Elliot cannot be said to be speaking on behalf of northern youths or for the youths of the North. We, in the Arewa coalition, are not aware of such a name.
“That group cannot be said to be speaking the minds of northern youths and is not known to any youth group in the northern part of this country.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum is a political pressure group that has been in existence long before this democracy for over 19 years and what we do is within the constitutional right of our people.