Yahaya Bello: Arewa Youth Forum Threatens Massive Protest Against EFCC

*Demands closing of case using legal means available

The Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) has while calling on the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Federal Government, to step in to save the integrity of the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) from the clutches of those it described as selfish politicians, has threatened a massive protest in Abuja if immediate past governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello is not left off the hook.

AYF expressed this in a statement, signed by its General Secretary, Ahmed Aliyu Usman, made available to newsmen in Kaduna on March 19, 2024.

“The AYF is using this medium to state that in defiance to the above, we will not hesitate to mobilize the youth to march the streets of FCT-Abuja in protest to expose the sponsors and the people behind it publicly,” the group warned.

The Arewa Youth Forum which is the premier umbrella platform of all youth organisations in Northern Nigeria, having structures in 19-Nineteen Northern States, the FCT Abuja, some Southern states and the diaspora, said that it has watched with keen interest the unfolding developments concerning the unholy act of tarnishing the image of former Kogi State Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello (GYB), through using the anti-corruption czar, EFCC, an action they consider as a desperate and selfish move by villains disguising themselves as politicians.

“The AYF like other well-meaning Nigerians, woke up to the news that the EFCC has, in an amended charge, accused the former Governor of diverting Kogi State Government funds in September 2015, 4-months before he assumed the position of a governor.

“To any right thinking person and in any saner clime, this charge is not only laughable, but further portrays the EFCC as an agency deeply infested with personalities whose intents and actions are at variance with the noble act that established it as well as that of Mr. President to defeat corruption activities in Nigeria.

“Available reports and facts have it that, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello could not have as of September 2015, conspired with anyone, including the Government House Cashier, Mallam Abdulsalami Hudu, to convert any money belonging to the State Government.

“It should also be noted that GYB before becoming the Governor of Kogi State, had not in any way any financial dealings with the Kogi State Government, which could have permitted him to convert for his personal use, whopping monies belonging to the Kogi State Government; a scenario that will put anyone in doubt because it does not add up and makes no sense,” the statement said.

AYF said that the question begging for answers is, did the Kogi State Government come out in any way to declare its money missing?

“We believe even the lay man on the street knows the answer; A CAPITAL NO!” The statement said.

According to the statement titled, “EFCC’S Political Agenda Against Governor Yahaha Bello: A Baseless And Selfish Connivance Of Rogue Politicians With The Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)” AYF said that
they are therefore, calling on selfish political actors to desist from their campaign of calumny against GYB.

“Heartwarmingly, Kogi State has been ranked and adjudged, both locally and internationally, as a state with sound financial transparency and accountability,” it added..

The Arewa Youth Forum therefore, called on the EFCC Chairman to Apologise to Nigerians.

“Tender unreserved apologies by way of an opened letter duly signed, to His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the good and peace loving people of Kogi State and Nigerians at large for making us a laughing stock in the comity of nations. Close the case forthwith, using legal means available.

“On a final note, we wish to note that the developments at the commission to a larger extent, betray the determination of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR to retool and rejig the agency and make it more vibrant in preventing and fighting corruption in a genuine and objective manner within the ambit of the extant rule of law.

“We are of the view that the current EFCC leadership seems to have picked up the gauntlet from where Bawa left it. This is too frustrating and needs to be checked and addressed by all and sundry,” it said.