|Governor Nasir El-Rufai was also listed among those to contest in 2019|
While speaking on the incident, the leader of the group, Comrade Elliot Afiyo said: “We want to reiterate and clearly warn that the North will not, and will never allow presidency to move to the South in 2019."
“As much as we can tolerate or pay any sacrifice for the unity of this country, we remain committed to a northern president in 2019.”
Here are a shortlist of 12 northern politicians it endorsed for the 2019 presidency. They are:
1. former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
2. the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki
3. Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State
4. Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto
5. former Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido
6. Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State
7. former Kano State governor, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso
8. former Borno State governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff
9. Governor Ibrahim Shettima of Borno State
10. Governor Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari of Zamfara State
11. Alhaji Tanimu Turaki
12. Senator Bala Muhammed
Comrade Afiyo said: “We want to reiterate and clearly warn that the North will not, and will never allow presidency to move to the South in 2019. As much as we can tolerate or pay any sacrifice for the unity of this country, we remain committed to a northern president in 2019.”
According to a report by Daily Post, Afiyo said the group had forwarded the names of the endorsed persons to its patrons and the leadership of the 42 affiliated organisations to Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF).
The group awaits screening and endorsement of only two candidates who will be considered during its 15th Annual National Convention coming up in September, 2017, in Kano.
He said: “We want to send a message to all political parties that may field southern presidential candidates in 2019 election that such action will amount to political death for the party." It warned northern leaders to desist from supporting candidates from the South and insisted that such action would be counter-productive to their irreversible decision for a 2019 northern presidency.
The group further called on all northern youths to embrace dialogue and peace, and not to allow themselves to be swayed by those who use religion and ethnicity to divide the north and gain political advantage.
Afiyo said NYLF was strongly instrumental to the emergence of “Olusegun Obasanjo, Musa Yar’adua and Goodluck Jonathan as well as current President Muhammadu Buhari as presidents in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015, respectively, without regional bias.”
The group said its actions were always guided by national interest far above any other interest. On the quit notice to Igbo by some sections of the Northern youth group, Afiyo said the youths were angry members who felt they were used and abandoned by the All Progressives Congress (APC) politicians.
Afiyo added: “We consider the quit notice as ill advised, ill-timed and uncalled for. “We strongly believe the groups of northern youths were motivated, encouraged and sponsored by some individuals who felt cheated by both the federal government and some state governments controlled by the APC.
“These individuals were used and dumped; no recognition or appreciation was extended to them. “They are, therefore, bent on destabilizing the government."
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