Stop Casting Aspersion on Dangote, Group Warns Arewa Youths




A group, Joint Northern Youth Forum, yesterday condemned in strongest terms the disrespectful manner the Coalition of Northern Youth responded to an unconfirmed remark wrongly attributed to the billionaire investor Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
Dangote was alleged to have described the ultimatum issued to Igbo to vacate the North by Arewa youths as reckless and a manifestation of frustration and joblessness.
In a statement signed by the group’s director of Media and Publicity, Ashiru Abdullahi, noted with dismay the use of abusive language against Dangote, by the so-called Coalition of Northern Youth Groups, as a response to an unconfirmed statement credited to the respected investor.
The statement expressed disgust that a group that professes to be promoting Northern interest would insult a prominent son of the North who provided the highest number of job opportunities in the history of the region.
According to the statement, it is indeed surprising why anyone should associate Dangote to anything politics.
“It has never happened and anyone who knows Dangote would readily admit that he has been a hardworking investor for decades and not a politician. The Coalition’s bedtime story about Obaanjo asking Dangote to run for the nation’s presidency is also laughable indeed.
“The Coalition claimed that Dangote “can never be” among genuine Northern patriots. This can never be true, given the hundreds of thousands of Northerners earning a livelihood through his vast array of investments in the North.
“And for whatever it is worth, Dangote deserves respect for rebuilding the lives of many young Northerners through his chain of businesses. If we cannot celebrate his efforts to give meaning to the lives of many northerners in particular and Nigerians in general, we should also not cast aspersions on him.
“When the so-called Coalition said its members are not involved with “drug peddling and currency counterfeiting”, what are they insinuating? What business has the respected African entrepreneur got to do with it?
“It is not in the character of northerners to be involved with insulting elders, especially elders that are enterprising and economically productive,” the statement read.
The statement described as sad and unfortunate the accusations made by the coalition that Dangote group is a destination for corrupt government officials, saying there was no iota of truth in the allegation.
“The insinuation that Dangote group of companies is a “financial destination for every corrupt government official” is simply ridiculous because his chain of investments have never been associated with the trial of corrupt public officials by agencies like the EFCC or ICPC  for many years. Dangote would not have been recognised by credible institutions like Forbes as the richest man in Africa.
“In accusing Dangote and others of bringing economic hardship to Nigeria “ for the past 25 years” the Coalition has not only ridiculed itself but insulted all those Nigerians who have escaped poverty and hardship courtesy of Dangote’s investments and Corporate Social Responsibility projects. It is also a blatant lie to say Dangote’s investments in the North are “negligible” or that the entrepreneur hates the North; it makes no sense at all,”the statement concluded.

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