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Northern Leaders Have Finished Us-Arewa Youth Leader

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The National President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, has lashed at some northern leaders declaring that they have nothing to offer as the 2011 general elections draw near. Yerima, who spoke in an interview with, lamented that the set of politicians parading themselves in the region are the same people who contributed to the disgrace the country is currently earning in the comity of nations.

He disregarded the perceived unity purportedly existing in the north saying it does not exist again.

According to him,"It (unity) was like that in the past when we thought that the leaders we have had us in mind, but at the end of the day, we realised that all they were saying were mere talks.

"Somebody claims to be your leader, you are left in abject poverty and what was given to you by the centre is manoeuvred by the individual.

"That was why since 50 years ago when Nigeria gained independence, the north has taken over two-third of the leadership of the country and for over 30 years, we still have nothing to write home about."

While maintaining that poverty had taken over the entire region at the expense of the leaders, he added that, "from this indication, it is clear that the problem is not about power remaining in the north but of having a leader who truly has the fear of God, who would look after an average northern and southern man suffering the same problem and put smiles on their faces.

"Our leaders in the north have really failed us. I have justified my side of the story; let any other person come out and say his own. My allegations are very clear that they have failed us."

He said that Nigerians can fight bad leadership by mobilising and frustrating the ambitions of those they do not want.

While warning leaders who have injured the psyche of the people, the Arewa youth leader reminded them that the youths of the country are daily getting enlightened and ready to fight for their rights.

"There was an attempt to assasinate a traditional ruler recently. Why? Are these people who want to assassinate him from the south? No, they are from the same place and the people think it is time to champion their course and change their destiny," he added saying: "that is why I continue to emphasise that the northern leaders should not push their youths to the wall, because if they want to begin militancy the way the Niger Delta boys are doing, then theirs would be worse as they would become uncontrollable."

Yerima, who said he did not subscribe to zoning, further said it did not bother the average northerner except the northern elements who already know they lacked credibility and would not be able to use any government mercenary to get to the seat of power without it.

Asked if he was sure the country's election in 2011 would be free and fair, he said he sympathised with the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, as the government was only prepared to soil his good name.

"The Nigerian government and society have a way of messing you up when you build your name," he said.

He described Jega as a honest man, but added that his fear was that he should not experience what befell Nuhu Ribadu who was Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). "Jega is only at the top, but he would not be there to monitor the elections in the 36 States," he explained.