By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Groups, under the auspices of Arewa Young Christian Forum of Nigeria (AYCFN) has canvassed the position of Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) for Governor of plateau State Mr. Simon Lalong ahead of 29th inauguration of President-elect Bola Tinubu.
Addressing journalists in Kaduna on Wednesday, to set the agenda for renewed hope for Bola Ahmed Tinubu Presidency, the forum’s National President, Comrade Agada Nathaniel said this has became necessary for equity, fair and balancing,
He also said that making Lalong an SGF is aimed at creating an atmosphere of unity, peace, and tranquility in view of the political configuration of Nigeria.
“The political and religious configuration of Nigeria has mandated that the various region be allowed to represent and be represented in the country’s governance, is aimed at creating an atmosphere of unity, peace, and tranquility.
“The various regions in Nigeria have clamored for equal representation at the highest level of governance in the country with the overarching objective of the equitable distribution of the dividends of democracy.
“As a body of democrats, we have been elected to hold this press conference to set the agenda for the incoming administration and put issues in proper perspective in the quest for transparency, equity, and justice”, he said.
According to the group, Mr. Lalong as SGF is also imperative in view of Muslim–Muslim composition of the President and Vice President of the incoming leadership.
He said the composition, indeed opened a plethora of agitations for the need to accommodate the Christians in the governance structure of the incoming administration.
“It must be stated that in the executive arm of government, the office of SGF is regarded as the engine room of government, saddled with the responsibility for ensuring the effective coordination and monitoring of the implementation of government policies and programs in the hierarchy of Nigerian government.
“The SGF also serves as a front-line advisory institution of the presidency”, they said.
The group restated that “Given that the South West and the North East have been adequately represented, it behooves that the North Central region should be given the slot of the SGF in the spirit of equity.
“The strategic importance of the North Central region in the political and socioeconomic life of the country must be considered.
“The recent endorsement of candidates for the offices of Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker, and Deputy Speaker leaves the North Central region in political limbo.
“This does not augur well for Nigeria’s nascent democracy, hence the need for action that would create a balance for all the regions in the country”, they stated.
The forum said after extensive deliberations, they noted that the position of SGF should be reserved for a Christian from the North Central region of the country, given importance of the region.
“Our position is hinged on creating an inclusiveness atmosphere for all the country’s geopolitical regions. We must admit that given the present political arrangement, the North Central region has been left out temporarily.
“We wish to make it clear that credible persons of repute have contributed immensely to the growth and development of democracy in Nigeria from the North Central region.
“These persons have proven their commitment to advancing democracy in Nigeria in ways too numerous to mention.
“Given the above fact, we believe that the outgoing governor of Plateau State, and Chairman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong indeed fits the bill for the position of SGF.
“His track record of administrative competence as a one-time speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Governor of Plateau State, and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum speaks volume.
“Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong has been instrumental in entrenching peace and political stability by administrating policies that address the political, religious, and ethnic concerns in North Central and Northern Nigeria as a whole”, they stated.