The newly established North Central People’s Forum (NCPF) clarified yesterday that it was not a parallel body to the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).
National Publicity Secretary of the forum, Hon Audu Sule, who made the clarification, explained that the main objective of establishing gathering of the Northern Intelligentsia in the region is to project the image of and promote the socio-economic as well as the political aspirations of people of the zone.
Speaking with journalists in Keffi, Nasarawa State, Sule stated that the forum seeks to promote unity, peace, security and prosperity of its people given the abundant human and material resources in the zone.
He however, explained that the formation of the forum was not meant to serve as a parallel body or threat to the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).
Rather, it said NCPF was established to harmonise and project the visions and provide political and economic direction to the people.
Sule said, “Our paramount objective is to ensure there is peace in Nigeria where our former leaders made sacrifice for the unity of Nigeria and their efforts and labour cannot be in vain. Leaders from this zone who served the nation in various positions in this country want to share their experiences and knowledge for the overall development of the zone because knowledge gained and not utilized is wasted.
“Therefore, we from the zone must come together irrespective of our religion, ethnicity, origin and political affiliations, but we have to remain one North Central Nigeria”.
Sule who was a two-term member of the Benue State House of Assembly, also stated that he and all other members of the NCPF are still bonafide members of ACF and are all working to promote its aims and objectives.
He added that coming together to form the forum should not be seen as rebellion or confrontation, noting that rather, it is for the overall deployment of the people.
He then expressed delight that the forum has taken off on a sound footing with remarkable support and encouragement from all the six governors in the region, as well as political leaders and stakeholders in the zone.
Leaders representing all the six states of the North Central geopolitical zone and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had last week met in Abuja to form NCPF.
The launch of the forum, according to them, was part of efforts targeted at addressing the socioeconomic and political challenges confronting the region.
The leaders who expressed deep concern about happenings in the country declared that the organization shall be a non-partisan and non-religious body whose primary objective is to promote peace and unity among its people, as well as security and politics that will cater to their enlightened self-interest.