Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has faulted reason the president of Arewa Consultative Youth forum, Yerima Shettima gave for why people from South east part of the country should not be supported for the presidential election in 2023.
Shettima was said to have at a recent event in a Lagos said that the North would not support somebody from South-East to become next President of Nigeria in 2023 because they were threats to national unity.
He was apparently referring to activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of Biafra (MASSOB), who have been demanding for Biafra Independence from Nigeria.
But replying him, the Ohanaeze youths said that Boko Haram and not IPOB nor MASSOB was a threat to national unity.
In a statement signed by its president-general, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro and secretary-general, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, the Ohanaeze youths said:
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide had dilligently studied the utterances of the president of Arewa Consultative Youth forum Alhaji Yerima Shettima recently in a Lagos event on the preparedness of the South East.
“We categorically state that equity, justice and fairness favours South-East to produce the Nigerian President come 2023, and we’re prepared to present Igbo’s best, especially with the equivalent of Great Zik of Africa among the current governors and former governors.
“We categorically state that there’s no Igbo man or group threatening the peace of Nigeria, as alleged by the president of Arewa Youths to justify why South-East should not be supported by the North to take a shot at the presidency in 2023.
“With Igbos scattered over the 774 LGAs with huge investments in the North, and other parts of the country, it’s self evident that Igbos are more Nigerian than most tribes in Nigeria. No Igbo man or group has carried arms against the state since after 1970,
“We Know that in 1999 Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was drafted and supported by Nigerians and was elected president to quench the rising violent agitation of OPC because of perceived maltreatment melted on late MKO Abiola.
“Successfully, Goodluck Jonathan presidency quenched the Niger Delta militancy and President Muhammadu Buhari came in to tame insecurity in the North East, so Igbo presidency project for 2023 will stop non violent self determination threats of biafra agitators,” the group said.
According to the group, the South-East is the allegedly the most marginalized zone in terms of infrastructure, allocation of resources, political distribution of power and dividends of democracy, policies and rotation of presidency.
“We wish to remind Arewa Youths that the best way to have a prosperous Nigeria is for all to collectively use Obasanjo/Falae model by fielding all Igbo presidential candidates in all the parties for 2023.
“It will be unfair for the president of Arewa Youths to be counting the years of the North as 10 half years by 2023 (Yar”Adua 2 years and six months plus Buhari’s 8years) with Southern 12 years (Obasanjo’s 8 years and Jonathan’s 6 years).
“We wish to correct this erroneous impressions which the North is creating to justify their inordinate quest to retain presidency as a ruse, as Nigeria is currently divided along six geo-political zones, and South-East is the next zone to produce the president, Ohanaeze youth added.
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