A coalition of 16 northern youth groups has warned the federal government to reverse the relocation of key departments in the Central Bank of Nigeria and the headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria back to Abuja or face legal hurdles.
Murtala Abubakar, leader of the Joint-Action Committee of Northern Youth Associations, on Monday, threatened to mobilise youths across the 19 northern states to stage mass protests if the federal government failed to “restore the status quo of the CBN and the FAAN headquarters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.”
“We wish to warn the federal government that such actions will not go unchallenged,” Mr Abubakar said at a presser held at Arewa House in Kaduna on Monday. “We will resist them through all available means, including legal, political and civil actions.”
Mr Abubakar stressed that the northern youths would not condone any form of marginalisation from the government and that they were prepared to fight back.
“We are not against Lagos or any other part of the country. But we are against any form of discrimination, dominion and marginalisation of any part of the country,” the northern youth leader said.
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He said relocating these key government agencies to Lagos was perceived as an “attempt to undermine the status and integrity of Abuja as the federal capital and the seat of government.”
The northern coalition includes the Arewa Young Women Rights Advocate Council, Northern Youth in Defence of Democracy, the Association of Northern Nigerian Students, etc.
Aviation minister Festus Keyamo announced the relocation of FAAN headquarters from Abuja to Lagos in a memo signed by Olubunmi Kuku, the agency’s managing director, dated January 15.
In an internal memo last week, the CBN said the transfer of some departments to Lagos state was a “decongestion action plan designed to optimise the operational environment of the bank.”