The Northern Youth Leaders’ Forum (NYLF) has today endorsed Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State as its presidential candidate come 2023 presidential election.
The decision was arrived at in Yola after the group elected the governor via a rigorous electioneering process.
At a press conference in Yola, the national chairman of the forum, Comrade Elliot Afiyo said the group comprising of 42 northern sub-groups has saddled on itself, ” the responsibility of shortlisting, investigating, screening and endorsing credible candidate for every presidential election by her patrons since 1999 till date.”
Afiyo said governor Bala Mohammed emerged victorious with 116 votes to beat Raymond Dokpesi who polled 28 votes adding that one vote was invalidated.
The national chairman said 145 delegates participated in the voting process which he said was carried out in a free and fair atmosphere.
“The voting was carried out some minutes ago and the unveiling is to be done now accordingly. It is pertinent to note that all the members of the National Executive Committee are present and voted for the first time since the establishment of this forum except Prof. Abdullahi S. Abubakar, Engr. Hakeem Bello and Dr. Sani Musa.
“Also, for the first time in the history of NYLF, an independent body was invited to conduct the voting and security personnel were asked to stay away from the voting center. This is to avoid any pressure on the members. The voting process was transparent and acceptable to all the delegates irrespective of their directions and support,” he said.
He added that in line with that tradition, the group during its 27th delegates conference in Yola unanimously within two weeks after the conference.
” In view of this decision, we address you today in order to unveiling our choice Candidate. The NYLF initially shortlisted 27 Candidates during our National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Gombe on the 4th of February, 2021.
”These candidates were presented to our political committee headed by Dr. Sani Musa as Chairman and Prof. Abdullahi Sadiq Abubakar as Secretary and was given two months to complete the screening and prune them to 3 Candidates.
”Consequently, the committee did a thorough job being political and intelligence experts and finally submitted 3 names to the National Executive Committee (NEC).
”These names were properly screened by the NEC during our NEC meeting in Kano on the 17th of May, 2021 and two of the three names were adopted and qualified for voting.
”During our delegates conference last two weeks in Yola, it was resolved that the voting will take place on the 4th of June, 2021 at Abuja.
” Following a definite move and subsequent genuine calls for the unveiling of our candidate by the majority of our teeming members and Nigerians especially the Northerners, it was resolved last week that the voting must be done on the 9th of June, 2021 and the unveiling of the voted Candidate to the public be done thereafter,” he said.
Afiyo said his group is optimistic that governor Mohammed has what it takes to salvage Nigeria from its present quagmire.
”We strongly believe and truly too, that he will surely fix our dear Nation-Nigeria. To this end, I am hereby directing all our members in Nigeria and abroad, to immediately commence consultations, lobbying and campaigning for the choice candidate even though we are yet to contact him.
”We would like to state clearly that by this directive, all the 42 affiliated Youth Groups and other Youth Groups that their applications for affiliation are pending, who are observers today, have resolved and an equivocally too, to work assiduously and collectively to ensure the logical conclusion of our resolution.
”This endorsement however, does not and will not stop any group from endorsing any candidate of their choice. But for us in NYLF and all the affiliated groups our endorsement of Bala Mohammed remains sacrosanct and this is our standpoint and there is no going back,” he said.