The president of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF,
Yerima Shettima has said that 2023 might be too late for
the Southeast to produce Nigeria’s president.
Shettima said the Southeast should look beyond 2023
because the next two years might be too late to produce
the country’s president.
The Arewa youth leader who spoke to DAILY POST was
reacting to the remark by former Anambra State Governor,
Chukwuemeka Ezeife on 2023 presidency.
Ezeife had said the Southeast was ready to kneel and beg
other regions to support the 2023 presidential ambition of
But Shettima said Nigerians can’t be fooled by Ezeife’s
sudden turn around because he has been anti-North for
the past 20 years.
The AYCF National President said the Southeast should
start engaging and lobbying other regions of the country
beyond the 2023 election.
He, however, cautioned the region against allowing people
like pro-Biafra agitator, Nnamdi Kanu to champion their
cause for presidency.
Asked to comment on Ezeife’s claim of the Southeast’s
preparedness to kneel and prostrate to beg for the
presidency, Shettima said: “It’s not enough at this injury
time, after he has spent years being anti-North. Ezeife
that I know for about 20 years has been anti-North,
recently he turned out to be anti-Nigeria, anti-Buhari, and
about one year to the election, he now somersaulted and
became a repentant person, nobody is a fool. Moreover,
he is not alone in all of these.
“Some of their utterances do not in any way promote
national unity. Now if the likes of him suddenly
somersaulted and say even if it takes them to kneel
down, they would. We all know that this kneeling down is
not the same kneeling down we all know; we are not
“We don’t have problem with an Igbo man becoming a
president but they should do the needful and not under this
circumstances of abuses, threats, and intimidations.
“For me, kneeling down would not be enough, they need to
heal the injury and go through the processes, so that it
would serve as a deterrent to other Nigerians that you
can’t eat your cake and have it, it’s not done anywhere.
“When the Southeast were busy abusing the sensibility of
Nigerian while believing that they have one of theirs who
will use his primitive attitude of intimidation to get their
way, they should have realized that it won’t take them
anywhere. The attitude of this their so-called hero under
detention (Nnamdi Kanu) is a clear indication that they are
not very much enlightened and exposed. I expect them to
be more exposed not to allow such a person speak on
their behalf believing that he is a champion that can give
them the presidency on the platter of gold.
“For me, it’s a good thing that the likes of them have
decided to realize that intimidation, blackmail, and
harassment can’t give them the Presidency, so they
should continue doing and sustaining the tempo by
pleading with Nigerians to forgive them for their
utterances and abuse of our sensibility as a people. They
should retract all the mess they have done to this country,
so that at the end of the day; we can have a common
“The Southeast are also Nigerians but they must
understand that politics is about understanding,
negotiating; but not by intimidation in a very primitive
form by this their so-called champion who talks and
barks like a dog.
“Knowing that he can’t help them achieve the presidency,
some of them are saying they are ready to beg; but we are
not saying they should kneel and beg, but do the needful
by reaching out, engage people so as to build trust and
confidence in people.
“All the Southeast need now is confidence building, they
should go across board and convince Nigerians that they
are prepared. 2023 might be too late for them to do
anything, maybe; they should look at the future which is
the truth of the matter.
“And in the future, they should not allow somebody with
bad attitude to come out and speak for them. That
primitive attitude does not sell anymore, violence does not
sell anybody anymore. We should be more mature and
civil in our approaches so that we can build a country of
our dreams where we can all be proud. Nobody wants the
country to break and if we all understand this, it will be
better for us than going separately.”