Former Secretary General of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Colonel John Ubah has said during his time, the members of the socio-cultural organization were pursuing individual interest rather than the interest of the north.
He made his feelings known while speaking with newsmen in Kaduna on Thursday immediately after handing over to his successor, Mr Anthony Sani.
Ubah who is also the former Military Administrator of Kebbi State, advised leadership of ACF to close ranks, and work like the northern sage, late Sir Ahmadu Bello, who he noted worked for the common interest of the entire region without religious and tribal sentiments.
According to him, “In the last three years that I served as Secretary General of ACF, I tried to promote one united north. My experience has been very rewarding, in fact more rewarding than what I learnt in public administration class in the university.
“The challenges that I had, typical of human beings, members of the ACF leadership, many a times they tried to follow their whims and caprice, and individual interest rather than the common interest of the north.
‘My advice to them is that the leadership should close rank, work together for the interest of the whole north like our leader, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto used to do.
“He was alone, but controlled the whole north, and made sure that everybody was carried along. He believed in the concept of belonging irrespective of religion, tribe or ethnic group, he held everybody together as one until destiny took him away from the seat”.
On his part, the new Secretary General of ACF said, “Most of the times the challenges are very clear, and as a pressure group, we need to promote and protect all the values of which the northern people shared, and we should be determined to do that.
“The whole country needs to know what we stand for, we should be able to unite and safeguard our interest for one united Nigeria. I am seriously working for that, for the purpose of one united north and the country as a whole.
“The challenges facing the north, you would have noticed that north is not united, you would have noticed that there has been some mistrust and suspicious in the politics along ethnicity and religion.
“But these challenges are not in North in particular, but they are more prevalent in the north because we have so many tribes, we have other religions, and suspicion has come in.
“So it is the responsibility of ACF to drive away any suspicion and misconception, throw away barriers so that we can achieve one love in the politics of one united Nigeria, and if we don’t do that, we will not be able to field a voice for the aspiration of northern Nigeria. These are the challenges for me as I take over the mantle of Secretary General of ACF.
“Why should we be looking at 2019 general election at this time, those who are bringing in the issue of 2019 at this time are trying to bring confusion. So anybody who ask me about 2019, I will tell him that he doesn’t mean well for Nigeria. Until the time comes, we will know how to talk, and if I am still I will have something to say. So don’t bring politics of 2019 at this time yet. It is too early. God help us to see that day.”