- The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum has backed Babangida over his statement that a younger person should succeed President Buhari in 2023
- Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the AYCF's national president, urged other elder statesmen to align themselves with IBB's stance
- The AYCF's leader said the current global trend regarding governance is allowing younger persons to take control
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has described as timely and commendable the call by former military president Ibrahim Babangida to have a younger person as Nigeria's president in 2023.
The group said this in a statement signed by its national president, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, and sent to Legit.ng on Friday, August 6.
IBB had, in an interview, said he strongly believes that Nigeria’s next president should be in his 60s, ruling out the APC's national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar from the 2023 presidential race.
List: Buhari's successor, June 12 annulment and 4 other crucial points IBB raised about state of the nation
Though Tinubu and Atiku have not publicly declared their interest in the 2023 race, there are strong indications that both men are interested in the race.
Shettima said by throwing his weight behind younger persons, IBB has proved that he is committed to genuine democracy.
He urged all other elder statesmen to cue behind IBB for the good of the nation.
IBB speaks the minds of millions of Nigerians
Shettima further noted that IBB has spoken the minds of millions of Nigerians who have been quietly disturbed by "the political culture of recycling old, tired citizens as presidents of the nation".
He added that the recycling of old leaders was partly responsible for the current stagnation afflicting the country.
Shettima said the current global trend in terms of leadership/governance is having young, healthy and intellectually vibrant young people at the helm of affairs.
Political parties should stop fielding old candidates
The AYCF president also called on all the political parties in the country to stop fielding old and incompetent candidates for the presidential elections.
"We're calling in all political parties in the country to shun the culture of recycling old and incompetent candidates for the nation's presidency, because the youth will no longer support that dangerous trend anymore."
We will no longer allow old candidates to get into power - AYCF
Shettima said the AYCG, going forward, will no longer allow older citizens to emerge as Nigeria's leaders.
The statement read:
"Going forward, the AYFC will never allow the recycling of old, weak and sick citizens as leaders of this nation, moreso in a fast-changing and competitive world.
"Much as democracy give everyone the right to contest for any elective office, it does not encourage the emergence of tired, weak, politically compromised, sick and overly unproductive persons as leaders of this modern society".
Qualities Nigeria's next president must have
As the nation approaches the general 2023 elections, IBB also revealed at least eight qualities the nation's next president must possess.
Among others, he said the next leader must be someone who has friends everywhere.
IBB added the next president must be well-versed in economics and understand politics well.