ABUJA—The Arewa Youth Development Association, weekend, promised to work with the Oil and Solid Mineral Producing Area Landlord’s Association of Nigeria,  OMPALAN, to restore peace and culture of cohabitation among Nigerian youths.

The youths said they believed that peace and living together is the best tool to address destructive societal ills such as corruption, religious bigotry and tribal intolerance.

In a statement jointly signed by its leaders, Mallam Imran Abubakar, Assan Ismail and Gadafi Tagwaye, the Arewa youths avowed   to leverage on their robust grassroots orientation to advance societal engineering and enthrone the rule of law across the country.

The statement reads: “It is our belief at Arewa Youth Development Association that peace and living together is the best tool to address destructive societal ills such as corruption, religious bigotry and tribal intolerance.

“The Arewa youths and OMPALAN youths can leverage on their robust grassroots orientation to advance social engineering and enthrone the rule of law across Nigeria’s 36 federating states and the FCT.

“Both Arewa and OMPALAN youths share a common vision of a united and indissoluble Nigerian nation, where no group or ethnic nationality will disrupt public peace and order in any part of the country fanning the embers of secession or promoting untoward acts that impinge on the rule of law.

“Arewa and OMPALAN youths will continue to dialogue to make Nigeria great and support the efforts of government at all levels to guarantee the right of every citizen of this great country to live and work in any part of Nigeria in peace.”

According to the statement, the Arewa Youths and OMPALAN Youths are working together to collaborate efforts in addressing the hydra-headed challenges currently facing the country, especially in the areas of corruption, joblessness and religious bigotry and harnessing Nigeria’s rich endowments in mineral resources across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to improve social justice and enhance the quality of life of the common man.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Board of Trustees, OMPALAN, Bishop Udo Azogu has joined his voice in calling for calm and peace building across the country, saying that what Nigeria needs is restructuring, not secession.

In an interview with Vanguard, Bishop Azogu said the cry of injustice and accusations against the Fulani oligarchy of short changing the system and cornering juicy positions in the Federal Government is baseless, but blamed the obvious imbalance in the sharing of key federal appointments to the federating states of Nigeria to corrupt leaders.

His said: “Some ethnic nationalities clamouring for secession have pointed at this injustice. But, we must be careful and assess the situation correctly to avoid the rash decisions that plunged the entire Country into a painful civil war in the 60’s.

“Breaking away from the Country cannot stop marginalization because the same corrupt leaders will have their way or the new leaders will be power drunk and subject the system to greater injustice.

“Instead, we should prevail on our political leaders to deliver good governance.   We should restructure Nigeria and fine tune the constitution to reflect true federalism and expunge the immunity clause.

“How can you give immunity to a thief and expect him or her to deliver? Every constituency has elected representatives at the center. These are people we gave our mandate through a democratic process to represent our interest.

“Our Governors and representatives at the National Assembly are not carrying the electorates along commensurately. Normally, they should protest openly and sometimes stage a walk out when their constituencies are shortchanged.

“Our State Houses of Assembly are unrepentant appendages of the executive. Instead of carrying out their oversight functions as required by law they stoop so low begging their Governors to carry them along at the expense of their constituents,” he stated.

Continuing, he said agitations for Biafra and IPOB gained ground due to failure of the political leaders to shore up their constitutional responsibilities of providing effective representation.

“ While the South East Governors are engaged in party politics, the Fulani- controlled States are forging a common front to protect their interest and must be commended for that. Power is not given on a platter of gold.

“Where is the impact of trillions of Naira that accrued on a monthly basis as palliatives to oil producing states and the NDDC? Is it the Fulanis that diverted these funds?, he queried, insisting that the aggrieved regions should hold their political leaders responsible for the woes of their regions.

Bishop Azogu however, maintained that the political leaders from the South East must repent and unite across political party barriers and work cooperatively to defend the interest of the region,   if they want to enjoy massive support from the people of the region.

“The electorate has the power to decide who ascends to power. They should make use of their unique power wisely to give their political leaders their deserved score card during election and should not complain after mortgaging their conscience,” he added.

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