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Pro-Jonathan Groups Suspend Rally

News » Politics


The planned one million- youth solidarity rally in support of President Goodluck Jonathan has been postponed in reverence to the mood of the nation after the flurry of fatal attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents in three states of Kano, Yobe and Borno.

The youth rally planned under the auspices of the Jonathan Youth Vanguard and Niger Delta Youth Leaders Council (NDYLC) is said involve over 500 other pro-Jonathan support groups and organisations around the country with the aim of assembling about one million youths that are in support of Jonathan’s 2015 re-election bid.

However despite adequate security measures put in place which saw increased presence of security forces, mostly military men stationed at strategic entry points and locations within the city, the promoters were prevailed upon at the last minute to suspend the youth solidarity rally.

It was gathered that the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) had expressed its reservations over the holding of the mass rally, urging the northern youths not to participate.

Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja on the reason for shelving the mass rally, the patron of NDYLC, Mr. George Turnah, explained that the representatives of Jonathan youth support groups nationwide met and resolved to defer the rally in sympathy for those who suffered losses during the recent Boko Haram attacks in some northern states.

He said 400 youths that gathered in Abuja during the meeting also passed a vote of confidence in support of the Jonathan’s administration and for his re-election in 2015.

“ Over 500 Jonathan support groups that enrolled to bring to one million youths to the rally participated in the series of consultations that was held on Wednesday night in Abuja. We consulted widely among relevant stakeholders and authorities and after due consideration of issues, the promoters of the pro-Jonathan rally wish to report that we have agreed to put the rally on hold, “ he said.

On the opposition by ACF to the rally, Turnah said the northern interest group had appealed for a postponement on grounds that it would be insensitive to do so while some families in the areas affected by recent bomb attacks were yet to recover from the trauma.

He said more importantly, that the organisers appreciated the fact that some of the youths expected to participate at the rally were from the north and the areas affected by recent attacks.

He said the youth groups would mobilise its structures to assist the president to deal with the insurgency.

“After the consultations with stakeholders, we decided to put the rally on hold. Our reasons for shelving the rally are to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the north who had come under attacks from Boko Haram during the last Ramadan festivities.

“We expressed our sympathy to our brothers and sisters in the north over the losses recorded during the recent terror attacks, promising that Nigerian youths are prepared to give the President and federal government the needed support to conquer terror and insurgency in the country.

“We like to state that we are in solidarity with the affected people and with the President in seeing that insurgency is brought to an end. A new date will be fixed for the rally after due consultations, “ he said.

Turnah who was joined by some leaders of the youth bodies during the press conference, called on the leaders, elders and youths in the north to take up the challenge of restoring peace to the region, adding that the Niger Delta leaders did the same when a similar crisis was happening in their areas.

The President National Youth Council of Nigeria, Abdulahi Majid, while commending the youth bodies for shelving the rally,

expressed gratitude to the Niger Delta Youths for the uncommon show of solidarity and sympathy in pushing for the postponement of the one million-man pro-Jonathan march.

“What we have done here today is a classical demonstration of inter regional solidarity. It shows that we share brotherhood and that our brothers in the Niger Delta are not taken our solidarity for granted. It means that they are also concerned about the well being of the people of the north.”

He said the youths after a meeting on Wednesday night unanimously resolved to uphold the oneness of Nigeria and to show inter-regional solidarity by putting the rally on hold.

On the efforts to ensure credible polls in 2015, he urged politicians and ethnic leaders to sink their differences and support President Jonathan in driving the process of governance ahead of the 2015. According to him, the call has become necessary to stem the growing tension in the polity.

Speaking on the role of the youth organisation in contributing to the efforts to put out insurgency in the country, Majid said the NYCON has put in place a programme known as ‘ Save Nigeria Campaign,’ which is an initiative aimed at getting at the root causes of insurgency.

He said, “although the federal government and the military have been doing a good job contending with the terrorist invasion, the youths of this country has a responsibility to identify ways of up-rooting the insurgency from its roots.

“In our efforts at stemming the crisis, we had started a sensitisation programme that instills on the young ones the spirit of patriotism and also empowering the jobless in the local communities to keep out of reach of the terror group, “ he said.

In a remark, the President of the joint Christian, Moslem Youths Organisation, Yusuf Ibrahim, said there was need to uphold the ethics of peaceful co-existence and to show solidarity with one another during times of difficulties such as the ravaging insurgency.

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     President Goodluck Jonathan     NDYLC     ACF     Mr. George Turnah     Abdulahi Majid