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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 said.
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