• We’re prepared to stop Buhari’s 2nd term bid – Yerima, Arewa Youth Leader
  • President of the Arewa Youth
    Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji
    Shettima Yerima, has said that President
    Muhammdu Buhari, who has declared his
    interest to run for a second term, will be
    humiliated at the poll.
    Speaking with VINCENT KALU, Alhaji
    Yerima noted that some failed governors,
    ministers and Buhari’s kitchen cabinet are
    mounting pressure on him to go on in
    order for them to be relevant and be in
    control of the nation.
    Buhari has declared to recontest in 2019,
    what is your reaction to this?
    We have expected this and we have
    already prepared for him. We are ensuring
    that every Nigerian youth obtains his or
    her voter’s card. We will ensure that we
    secure our votes and our votes count. We
    didn’t expect him to say that he was not
    going to contest. This is democracy and
    no one can deny him the right to contest.
    He had admitted that he ought to have
    been doing something better than he is
    doing, but age and ill health have actually
    overtaken a lot of things in him. So, we
    were thinking that, as a man with
    integrity; a man who had said he would
    only go for one term, should understand
    that he would be under pressure put on
    him by his cabinet members and
    governors, who have failed and want to
    use him to be relevant.
    Because of the president’s age, and
    health, these people want to control
    Nigeria, and they have to pressure him in
    order for them to remain in power. Since
    he has made up his mind, there is no
    problem, but we are going to ensure that
    he fails when the time comes.
    You are sounding as if you have an axe
    to grind with him, is this because, as you
    have said in the past that he has not
    empowered the Northern youths?
    It has nothing to do with appointments.
    Anybody who knows me from onset will
    testify that I have never looked for an
    appointment, I’m not a government
    contractor, but I stand on the path of
    righteousness, and that I would be
    remembered for even after death. If
    something is right, it is right and if it is
    wrong, it is wrong. I don’t have grudges
    against the president. One, he is a father
    to me, I have known him personally; I
    have worked with him and we have a
    relationship like father and son for a long
    time from 2003, and there is no doubt
    that he is like a father to me.
    My position doesn’t have any personal
    grudge against him, it is about Nigeria,
    and I do not imagine that after all the
    years we have spent in the trenches, and
    putting my life in the fight against
    injustice, and all of a sudden, we have
    some characters, who have not paid any
    dues or made any sacrifices trying to
    undermine our democracy we have fought
    for. I’m worried about that.
    If for instance, President Buhari has a
    cabinet made up of patriotic Nigerians,
    who are ready to work, and he dictates
    what goes on, we wouldn’t have
    problems, but not when he is not in
    charge of the government and some
    people took advantage of his weaknesses
    and start mismanaging Nigeria. This is
    deceitful and it can’t be allowed to
    continue. I have nothing personal against
    the president. Anybody who knows my
    record from Obasanjo’s regime, to
    Yar’Adua and to Jonathan will attest that
    I have been consistent. I criticise any
    government that implements anti-people
    policy in the best interest of the country.
    Where the government does well, I
    commend it.
    We know he is under pressure by some
    governors, ministers and kitchen cabinet,
    we are also mindful that some of these
    governors have failed woefully and don’t
    have anything to show to their people,
    especially, the governors of Kaduna, Kogi
    and Zamfara, they are calamitous to our
    society. They have nothing to offer. If
    Buhari is not contesting, they are finished
    because they have allegedly amassed
    public funds. They cannot explain what
    they did with the Paris refund loan. Many
    of them are in a mess and to them, it is a
    do or die, but for us, it is not so. The
    tenet of democracy must come to play
    and all of us must ensure that we insist,
    advocate and sensitise Nigerian youths to
    get their PVC.
    The battle line will be between the old
    generation, the failed governors and the
    youths. I sympathise with him because
    the pressure is so much on him, but I
    would have wished that he shouldn’t
    have succumbed to their blackmail and
    pressure because he is a man we respect
    and a man we are proud of as a father. I
    wish him to retire with more honour than
    the humiliation he is going to face. With
    him, these governors, ministers and
    kitchen cabinet are finished.
    There are crises everywhere, and the
    country has turned to a killing field, we
    have not had it so bad, why is it so?
    It is unfortunate. Every government
    comes with its own challenges, and
    everybody should be worried about the
    situation we are in this country. Insecurity
    has become an order of the day where life
    is no more guaranteed. It is either you
    have problem of herdsmen with the
    farmers, kidnapping, robbery, etc, or you
    have Boko Haram that is at its advanced
    level, as it is not only in Borno State, but
    also almost everywhere. It is worrisome.
    One of the challenges has to do with the
    lack of coordination among the security
    agencies. We have never had a situation
    where the security agencies are not in
    harmony. There is problem between the
    DSS and the EFCC; there is also a
    problem between the army and police;
    DSS and NIA, etc. if these security
    agencies are not working as a team, there
    wouldn’t be anything meaningful in
    carrying out their responsibilities. The
    earlier they realised this the better for the
    country because it is not about them, but
    about Nigeria, which comes first.
    How can Nigeria come out of these
    Like I said, if the security agencies should
    reorganise themselves properly; put their
    houses in order and agree to collectively
    work together, and with the cooperation
    of the citizens, then this insecurity will
    Is there any political undertone to the
    killings going on, especially in Southern
    Kaduna, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau
    and Taraba?
    Like I said earlier, every government
    comes with its own challenges. Sad
    enough that in the game of politics, it is
    so unfortunate that some people can take
    away the lives of innocent people in the
    name of playing politics. Just like Boko
    Haram that has been politicised, and
    serving the interest of some people, this
    one cannot be ruled out. It is not good
    for us as a country to take the life of
    anybody just to prove a political point, or
    distract somebody at the seat of power.
    This is not the best time for the country.
    The challenges are getting overwhelming.


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