…Says Atiku, others should join hands in developing Nigeria
Comrade Elliot Afiyo is the 5th National President of the
Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) the umbrella body of 42
Northern Youth Groups which was formed by the Northern
Political, Military, Traditional and Religious Leaders on the 26th
of September, 1994 with the sole aim of protecting and
propagating the Northern interest within the National Interest.
The Forum has been very influential in the victories of all the
presidential candidates since 1999 till date. The Forum also
controls the majority of the Northern Youth especially at the
rural areas of the North. NYLF has also produced a sizeable
number of Governors, Senators, Representatives and Members
of the State Houses of Assembly.
In this interview with the newsmen at Abeokuta after a meeting with
the former President Obasanjo for three hours, Comrade Afiyo who
is also a Senior Pastor of the RCCG and the Secretary –General of
the Association of West African Monarch (AWAM), bares his mind and that of the Forum on some burning national issues.
Comrade Sir, you have been silent since the judgments of the presidential election tribunal and
subsequently, that of the Supreme Court, what necessitates
this silence sir?
Our Forum decided not to make any comment on these judgments until after consultations with our patrons. My visit today is part of the consultation process and I am glad to tell you that we have concluded that process and have addressed the press.
During that press conference, you made mention of your patrons coming together to support President Tinubu. Can we say then that it is your collective decision?
The Presidential Election Tribunal ruled that President Tinubu won the election and this judgment was affirmed by the Supreme Court. By implication, President Tinubu becomes the legal and constitutionally recognized president and Commander
in-chief at least for the next four years. This also implies that, his
decisions are binding on all Nigerians, his instructions must be
carried out, his commands must be obeyed and his actions are
legally backed up. There is nothing anybody could do to change or
alter this fact. Whether the judgments were wrongly delivered or not, they are binding on us and remain sacrosanct.
Our Patrons are advanced citizens and nationalists, and as patriots,
they have strong belief in the progressive and peaceful Nigeria. They have all agreed to support, encourage and participate in the
Renewed Hope Administration of president Bola Tinubu to salvage
our country despite their seeming differences.
I want you to know
that Tinubu is a divine project that will lay the foundation
for a greater Nigeria. He is definitely the Moses but not the Joshua
How soon are we going to witness this support Sir?
Very soon. They have given us go ahead to arrange for meetings and interfaces between them and the
President. We have already agreed to initiate the process. That
should be after our NEC meeting next week. We would surely
contact the president through one of our patrons who is close to
Sir you made mention of lopsided appointment by
the present administration though you said it is not the first
time we are witnessing it. What do you suggest of the Federal
The Federal Character Commission deals with the public and civil service recruitments and appointments. We are talking of political appointments here. If you listened to me very attentively during the press conference, you will observe that I made
an analogy comparing the disparity and the gap created by these
appointments since independence. Presidents Goodluck Jonathan
and Muhammadu Buhari widened this gap. Only President
Obasanjo that narrowed the gap both as a military Head of State and as well as a Democratic President. We are seeing another dimension towards this gap. As I said earlier, the Northerners must not complain. But can we continue this way as we strive towards a
The president to my own opinion, should create an independent
political appointments office to be headed by a Special Adviser
or Special Assistant to be reporting directly to him instead of
the present set up in the hands of his Chief of Staff or SGF.
Though it is impossible to balance up, it is very possible to
narrow the gap and create of a sense of belonging.
Some Northern clerics are claiming that Abuja belongs to the North and as such the minister must be a
Northerner. What do you have to say about it sir?
It is total ignorance or deliberate and calculated propaganda. Abuja belongs to Nigeria under the trust
of Mr. President. Nobody can dictate or force the president to
appoint a particular person as a minister from Sokoto or Kano
not to talk of Abuja. The President has the prerogative power
and right to appoint even a Herbalist or Babalawo as minister
of FCT subject to confirmation by the Senate under the
When Lagos was the Federal Capital, Alhaji Mahmud Ribadu was appointed the Administrator of Lagos by the Prime Minister-Not a single Lagosian, Yoruba or Southerner came out to complain not to talk of claiming the ownership. Ribadu is adjudged today to be the best Administrator of Lagos ever produced because he made the master plan and ensured that it was obeyed and carried out even when his life was threatened by an acclaimed Babalawo. Today, we have the Tafawa balawa Square, Onikan Stadium, Defence House and the State House in Marina Lagos because Ribadu risked his life by ensuring that the master plan was adhered to. His Excellency Nyesom Wike should ignore all these threats and focus on the restoration of the Abuja master plan.
President Tinubu should also
give Wike the needed political freedom to do the needful.
If I may ask, if Abuja actually belongs to us as the clerics are
claiming, how many votes did President Tinubu get from the
supposed owners of Abuja that they are demanding for their
own to be made minister of the FCT?.
What do you think is the way forward against this
The government should do something fast and urgently too, to counter this propaganda before the rural northern population is polluted. You know they have rigid beliefs and are subservient to indoctrination. If such is not done, the Tinubu’s administration will encounter a very stiff and unimaginable opposition and hatred, which will make that of Jonathan’s administration a child’s play.
On our own part, we have directed our local government coordinators to engage in rural awareness to counter this propaganda.
There was a video of a cleric calling for prayers and incantations against President Tinubu and Wike. ( Cuts in).
Who is he that will harm you if you are a doer of that which is good? No divination against Jacob shall stand. Only the counsel of the Lord shall prevail. Do you know how many prayers were offered against President Tinubu’s victory and assumption of office? God answers prayers on one condition. That is, if you pray according to His
will, He answers. Do you know that some churches declared fasting and prayers including night vigils against Tinubu? I was referred to and called a suspect by my one of our pastors because I did not support Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and later Peter Obi? Where are
they now? Many pastors openly declared them as God’s choice. I
laughed because they have Samuelic mentality which prophet
Samuel displayed in the house of Jesse. (I Sam 16:6-7).
You are one of Atiku’s strong pillars and confidants. What is your advice to him now that the Supreme Court has affirmed President Tinubu’s victory.
Atiku has done his best towards deepening and strengthening our democracy and democratic institutions and structures. He has said on several occasions that he will appeal to God after the Supreme Court verdict. When somebody appeals to God, it means he has nothing to do or say again. He either waits for God’s goodwill, permissive and acceptable will or perfect and affirmative will.
As I said earlier, the Supreme Court has settled all the issues concerning the 2023 presidential elections. President Tinubu is now
the authentic and constitutional president of Nigeria. All our
political differences must be buried for now. All hands must be on
deck to assist and support the president to succeed. Assuredly, I
am telling you now, we are 100% behind President Tinubu. That
does not mean that we can’t give him constructive criticisms.
What is your stand concerning the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas?
I am neither for Israel nor Hamas. I am not against Israel nor Hamas. I am for peace and I am totally against Illuminati who are deliberately initiating and sponsoring wars and conflicts to destroy lives and property to reduce the world’s population.