By Desmond Ukandu (Politics Editor)
A Northern Youth Group known as North-East Youth Democratic Vanguard (NYDV), have lent their support to the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, over his position on the controversial zoning arrangement for the 2023 Presidency as recently made open by the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).
The youth group also berated the Voice of Nigeria (VON) Director General and APC chieftain, Chief Osita Okechukwu, for his recent comments attacking Governor Bala Mohammed, insisting that the governor has the right to hold an opinion on any crucial matter including the issue of zoning of political offices.
It will be recalled that Governor Bala Mohammed recently said the zoning arrangement adopted by the APC does not pose any threat to the PDP in the forthcoming 2023 presidential election.
But in a statement by the NYDV led by Istifanus Darius and Malek Zulum, the group alleged that the VON DG was only using Governor Bala Mohammed's statement as a ploy to divert attention from his issues with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) regarding the N1.3bn, he allegedly diverted.
According to the statement, "Mr Osita Okechukwu, an unrepentant supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, was detained by the anti-corruption commission over an alleged case of conspiracy, abuse of office and misappropriation of public funds, charges he has faced in a weak and unconvincing manner."
The group’s leadership further reminded that the DG’s party (APC) is presently embroiled in internal disarray, having not elected a National Working Committee (NWC) which made the party to resort to eternal postponement of it's national convention and also perpetuating a ‘do or die’ politics, and championing dirty fight just to achieve their end goals.
The group noted that rather than salvage his sinking party, Mr Okechukwu, is "attacking a principled leader like Bala Mohammed whose track record of service is peerless".
The statement also said that, "People should remember that it was the same Bala Mohammed who as a fearless patriot in the opposition party, moved the motion for a Doctrine of Necessity in the Senate which made former President Goodluck Jonathan the acting President when ex-President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua was seriously ailing before his death was formally announced.
"Such a political act and feat was more comparable to those constructors of the zoning convention the VON DG holds so high in esteem. With a distinguished civil service career before his present position, Bala Mohammed has also exhibited a strong record of leadership and management through diversity and gender inclusion during his tenure as FCT Minister.
"As Bauchi Governor, his transformation work is astonishing, which is acknowledged by his peers as revolutionary. To attempt to tarnish the person of Governor Bala Mohammed with words like deceitful, duplicity, selfish, and failure, is obviously Mr Okechukwu holding up a mirror to his own already tarnished reputation.
"The VON DG is therefore strongly advised to desist forthwith from his most unsavoury attacks on a man of destiny like Bala Mohammed. His Excellency, Governor Bala Muhammed's declaration for president ahead of the People’s Democratic Party’s primaries that he will work tirelessly for the party irrespective of the outcome, is an attribute of his selflessness as a political leader", the group stated. NNL.