Arewa Youths Forum (AYF) has called on past and present leaders of Northern Nigeria to apologize to the North as a matter of morality and sincerity, specifically naming former military leaders Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar.

“We got to the mess we are in due to their insensitivity, and approach to governance, which was contrary to the principles of our leader Sir Ahmadu Bello,” they said in a statement issued on Sunday following an emergency meeting in Kaduna attended by Northern Muslim and Christian youths.

Lamenting the “avoidable quagmire” in which the North has found itself, the AYF said, “We are at the bottom of every index ranging from health, education, social amenities, and several other sectors.  Worst of our woes is the insecurity ravaging the North.”

The youths blamed for that situation “all Northern leaders who held several positions, i.e. Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, and others, whom they said received “golden opportunities” to turn the fortunes of the region around but failed to do so. 

“This they should know and accept much of the blame,” they said, dismissing as a “ruse” the continued search by those former leaders for what went wrong.   “Our indigent peoples are not in any way responsible for our predicament but the elites, who on several times Allah has willed leadership.”

The statement said: “Northerners and the world needs explanation as to what led the North to the rut it is today.  It was not magic but man-made as a result of deliberate manipulation of religion, self enrichment and pervasive corruption our leaders adopted to the detriment of the lager peoples of the North. It must be further explained to tell undiluted history, that had our elites continue in the way and direction erected by our leader Sir Ahmadu Bello, it would have been a different ball game, but sadly, our region is now being mocked and laughed upon, we are being denigrated and termed as "parasites" and those "benefiting" from where they have not sown.”

The AYF called on the people of Southern Nigeria also to recognize that their own elites cannot be exonerated from the mess Nigeria is in today, and to discontinue unnecessary “mischievous” generalizations about the North, as most Northerners do not fit into them.

They concluded that what the North and Nigeria in general need now is “practicable good governance on the basis of unity, justice, equity, oneness and togetherness.”

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