By Progress Godfrey
As Governor Yahaya Bello and Barr. Natasha Uduaghan continue their backlash, a coalition of over 407 ethnic groups in Nigeria, the Nigeria Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Council (NENYLC), has expressed worries, describing the feud as anti-democratic and a threat to women inclusion.
The President General of NENYLC, Comrade Terry Obeih, while addressing a world press conference Tuesday in Abuja, said the group was concerned because both contending forces were youths within its context and hail from the same senatorial district and state.
He warned that persistence of the already prolonged fissure is capable of scaring women participation in politics as well as heightening tension in Kogi State, considering the fragile peace and security warning ahead of the 2023 elections.
The coalition therefore called for a ceasefire from all points of interest and attacks forthwith, urging Governor Bello to apply care and caution for democracy sake
Comrade Obeih said, “The Nigeria Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Council (NENYLC) is extremely concerned over the recent excessive imbroglio between the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello and Barr. Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, PDP Kogi Central Senatorial District candidate over allegations and counter-allegations of terrorism escapades and hobnobbing with one “Shefiu” and further threats of attacks, media maligning cum aggressive vilifications and intimidation between both parties, consequently causing hydra-headed tension and fears in Kogi State.
“As a matter of promotion of democracy and inclusion of women and youths in politics and governance, we call on His Excellency, Alh. Yahaya A. Bello to reconsider his stance on this feud as a leader and lover of democracy in the state. Persistence of this rift will make the atmosphere unsafe for women participation in politics and governance.”
The coalition beckoned on relevant stakeholders in the state to play a role in resolving the situation, stating that partisanship shouldn’t bring political divide but exchange of views and ideas for the common development of the people.
The youth leaders council further called on President Mohammadu Buhari to intervene and foster a peaceful resolution. It also calls on security agencies to conduct thorough investigations and prosecutions on all allegations raised.
“In furtherance to the aforementioned, it is pertinent to inform President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and ensure to resolve peacefully all ensuing vagaries of crises and political animosity, while demanding all law enforcement agents and security apparatus and institutional architecture to ensure detailed investigation and thorough background check is carried out on these whole allegations raised for detailed investigation and thorough prosecution at a court of competent jurisdiction.
Similarly, the Secretary General of the NENYLC and President, Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide, Aare Oladotun Hassan, solicited a peaceful resolution of the crisis which according to him, “we see from the prism of political attrition and nothing less.
“Whereby politics should not be seen as a do-or-die affair, whoever is voted for by the people should be given the right of campaign and a free atmosphere to exercise their franchise interest so that no one is gagged on the premise of lies, especially when we are considering the fact that the issues being raised are issues of national security. That is why we are calling on the National Security Adviser to consider every terrorism allegation from all angles holistically without leaving any stone unturned”.