The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF)
yesterday said northerners were
deliberately excluded from the recent list
released by the National Universities
Commission (NUC) for the award of a
presidential scholarship.
This was made known by the national
publicity secretary of the forum, Anthony
Sani, saying the list has ignored the national
consensus on inclusiveness.
“The attention of the Arewa Consultative
Forum has been called to a most curious list
of candidates published in the newspapers
this week who are said to have qualified for
the award of a presidential scholarship for
innovation and development, which is
designed to train and develop young
Nigerians to become entrepreneurs capable
of creating jobs, wealth and progress.
“However, although the list released by the
NUC is on a state by state basis, it is not at all
clear that the Commission wanted
candidates to come from all parts of the
country. The criteria used to select the
candidates appear designed to exclude
those from the Northern states. It certainly
enabled the NUC to ignore the national
consensus on inclusiveness and balance of
competing demands among groups and
areas of the country.
“If the NUC had permitted itself to be guided
by the need for balanced development of
Nigeria, it would not have nominated a
preponderance of candidates for this vital
programme from Southern states to the
near exclusion of the North. Oyo state, for
example, has 52 candidates while Sokoto,
Yobe, Cross Rivers and the FCT have nil
candidates each. The list itself is
explanatory. If it is a mistake, NUC should
take immediate steps to correct it,” Sani