Patrick Okohue, Lagos
The Arewa Youth Assembly in conjunction with some civil society groups have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to run an all-inclusive government as he begins his second term in office on May 29.
The group made the call in Abuja to draw the President’s attention to the need to ensure even distribution of appointments in his second term to avoid agitation from any part of the country, NAN reports.
Mohammed Danlami, speaker, Arewa Youth Assembly, who spoke on behalf of others, said balancing of appointments was necessary in every government in the country considering the diverse nature of the nation.
Danlami pointed out that the purveyors of the accusations of marginalisation might not seek to protect the interest of the regions they claimed to be agitating for, but might use the opportunity to derail a serious government from achieving its mandate.
“The resultant effect is just bad publicity for Mr President and acrimony among brothers from diverse parts of the country, while enemies of our collective progress fold their arms and watch their negative grand plan prevail,” he said.
According to Danlami, President Buhari should distance himself from any group or individuals calling for appointments to be made based on the votes he got from the respective states in the 2019 election, as the call is antithetical to national integration, cohesion and unity.
He noted that the nation must stand solidly upon the principles and practice of liberal democracy for it to survive, thrive and flourish in peace and unity.
“It is with an unflinching yearning for national unity and a deep sense of patriotism that the Arewa Youth Assembly alongside several renowned civil society groups converged on the grounds of the Unity Fountain here in Abuja.
“In 1999 after many years of military rule, Nigeria returned to democracy, there was hope in the nation that liberty and freedom of choice that will ultimately translate into justice, equality and for all fairness shall certainly produce prosperity and strengthen the unity of the divergent groups within the nation.
“Unfortunately, recent events in the nation signal a steady reversal of the expectations of the founding fathers of Nigeria that this shall be a country based upon the principle of liberal democracy in which citizens shall have freedom of choice and be treated equally.
“There are worrisome signals that Nigeria is sliding dangerously down the destructive slope of injustice, oppression, discrimination and disregard for other zones.
“This need for equality and fairness is underscored in our old National Anthem which states ‘though tribe and tongue may differ in brotherhood we stand.
“The prayer in the last verse sums up the yearning of the founding fathers of the nation, ‘O God of all creation, grant this our request; help us to build a nation where no one is oppressed’,” Danlami said.
He added that the nation required a mature nationalistic leadership that would accommodate all Nigerians and share appointments according to geo-political zones on the basis of merit.
The youth leader who also pleaded with the President to consider certain decisions and proposals traced to last administration which could be in the overall interest of the nation, called on Nigerians to support the President to steer the ship of national progress.