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By NBF News

Addressing newsmen after their meeting, the chairman of the Joint Arewa Youth organization, Malam Nastura A. Shariff, said the rally would be held on September 1 and that over 100,000 youths from the North have indicated interest to participate in the rally.

'We are not going back on our stands that power must return to the North. To make our stand known to the president, we are staging a rally next month. Many friends of the North from other parts of the country have indicated interest to join us. The rally will start from the Eagle Square and will terminate at the State House, Abuja. It is going to be a violent free one,'' he said.

He said they decided to stage the rally, following the refusal of President Goodluck Jonathan to grant them audience.

'We were thoroughly disappointed that our legitimate request for audience with the president, to register our protest against the 100 Northern politicians' position was ignored for very unclear and obviously undemocratic reasons,'' he added.

He said the failed pro-Jonathan/Namadi solidarity rally in Kaduna last Saturday was a clear signal that any unpopular idea would not work in the country.

The group wondered why former president Obasanjo, who was a beneficiary of the zoning formula, would spearhead moves to jettison it.

The youths further pledged to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to present a bill to the National Assembly on political thuggery and drug abuse.

'The bill will ensure that any Nigerian aspiring for political office stands disqualified once he/she is found guilty of using thugs to harass, maim or attack perceived opponents,'' they added.