The Coalition of Arewa Youths for Peace and National Development has called on Nigerians to disregard statements by Vice Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Kashim Shettima, on the competence of Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
The group described Shettima’s statement calling Obi’s competence to question as “unpatriotic” and capable of festering disunity amongst members of the public.
The Arewa Youths, in a statement signed by its National President, Mohammed Gwadabe, who categorised Shettima’s comments as “divisive and reckless”, said the former governor could not be “trusted” with leading the country.
Part of the statement read, “We call on all well-meaning Nigerians, especially our youths and Northern elites, to, in the interest of our diversity and unity, condemn – in the strongest term – this unpatriotic statement capable of igniting ethnic tension in the already-charged polity”.
“We hold that such crass propagation of bigotry must not be allowed in a decent society such as ours that is multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and secular in nature.
“In demonstration of our zero-tolerance for rascality, and chauvinism under whatever guise, we have caused the removal of Senator Kashim Shettima, as our patron”.
Earlier, the former Borno State governor, Shettima, in an interview on Arise TV, had questioned the competence and capacity of Labour Party Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi, to lead the country as its President.
He said “Nigeria requires a technocrat and a sound administrator who will continue from where President Muhammadu Buhari stopped, not someone who will come to take us back to the era of PDP. Nigerians don’t want that.
“Presidential position is not for the unprepared neither is it an all comers’ affair. Peter Obi can only become a President in Igboland but definitely not in Nigeria. Nigeria is too big for him to handle”.
Consequently, the Northern youths said they would no longer follow the choices of the ruling APC, but vote competence and character, regardless of tribe or religion.
“The era where Arewa youths just accept whatever choices, or decisions made by the APC, is gone for good, and that point must not be taken for granted,” the statement read.
It continued, “Henceforth, Northern youths, who are distinguished in every right, shall vote character and competence, while relegating tribe and religion to the background, as far as elections that will decide their future are concerned.”