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The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum(AYCF) on Sunday criticised Hon Garba Datti, a member of the House of Representatives from Sabon Gari Federal Constituency of Kaduna over what it described as “disparaging comments” against Northern Elders Forum(NEF) and its Chairman, Professor Ango Abdullahi.
Datti had claimed that Abdullahi and other eminent Northerners in NEF were angry with President Muhammadu Buhari because he “did not give them a job”.
The lawmaker’s comment is coming at a time Abdullahi had accused people of the Southeast of being responsible for violent attacks on Northerners in other parts of the country.
However, AYCF National President, Yerima Shettima described Datti’s comment as infuriating and disrespectful.
In a statement, Shettima said it was “seriously upset because of the disrespectful manner in which Datti attacked the personality of Professor Ango and NEF, which is today the most respected group of prominent Northerners telling the truth to power. Professor Ango’s vehicle was once decorated with bullets for standing with and struggling to have Buhari at the top. He escaped death by the whiskers”.
According to Shettima: “it was infantile of Hon Datti, as a Northerner and lawmaker of the Federal Republic to stoop so low by indulging in a cheap campaign of calumny against both the NEF and Professor Ango Abdullahi, a former Vice-Chancellor of ABU, a Democrat and close associate of late MKO Abiola.
“The likes of Hon Datti are the ones responsible for the current backwardness of the North by deliberately hiding the truth about our troubles, in the desperation to get into the good books of the executive arm of government.
“By the way, when has Hon Datti become the spokesman of the Buhari Presidency? Why is he even trying to veer into an area he has no business with?
“We have not seen such a sycophant and reactionary posturing against those telling truth to power and wonder what has come over this lawmaker.
“Most importantly, how many times has Hon Datti rose on the floor of the lower chamber to make a case for the North? What was the harm in NEF and Professor Ango openly drawing the attention of those responsible for the North’s safety to the region’s daily bleeding, kidnapping and killings that have become the order of the day?”
Shettima, consequently, charged Hon Datti to withdraw “such unguarded statements against leaders of the region and stop bringing the image of the House of Reps to ridicule by being openly and unjustifiably sycophantic.