By Abdul Usman, Kaduna
The National President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Shettima Yerima, has thanked the Northern elders for standing behind the former Governor of Abia state and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu during his six months incarceration at Kuje custodial centre.
This is even as he accused the leaders of All Progressives Congress from the south for conspiring against Kalu because of 2023 presidential ambitions.
He also slammed the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo and its leadership for keeping silent during the entire period of Kalu’s travails
Yerima who once gave quit notice to the Igbos in the north had months ago
cautioned the North over the dangers of abandoning the former Governor in prison and to his fate.
Yerima spoke on Tuesday morning with newsmen in Kaduna.
He said he is grateful to the Northern elders for “standing firm for Kalu” who he referred to as their “long time ally , brother and friend.”
He specifically thanked Prof. Ango Abdullahi, Chairman of Northern Elders Forum for proving critics wrong on the North’s stand on Kalu .
Yerima also thanked the Supreme Court and Justice Muhammad Liman of the Federal High Court for standing on the path of justice .
He said , ” It is very important to appreciate the justices of the supreme court and Justice Liman of the Federal High Court for their moral and professional courage to uphold justice. . Kalu’s release is a victory for decency, for patriotism and respect for the rule of law. They once again proved that Judiciary is the survival of democracy.
He questioned the usefulness of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to Igbo elites . According to him, it is a disappointment that Ohanaeze under the leadership of Nwodo specifically did nothing to support their own , yet they want a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction.
” Please where will this president come from ? the sky? Kalu is one of their biggest assets but they all kept quiet. It’s only the Ohanaeze youths that spoke strongly for Kalu but Nwodo and his corrupt members shied away from the real leadership they ought to render . Who knows if they were also paid to betray their own? It’s very shameful of them.
Reacting to questions on the future political expectations of the North , Yerima said that it irritates the entire North for some southern politicians to think they will leave power for them (South)come 2023.
“How can you think we will cede power to the South in 2023?” He queried the journalists. “The North still want the presidency. The south is in charge of the economy and they have everything, so why would they want to take away the only thing we have . What would you call that ? Even if we are ceding power to the south in 2023, we should be considering people like Orji Uzor Kalu. He is someone the north trusts and the Northern elders will give him their full support . Most Nigerians don’t know that Kalu’s incarceration emanated from conspiracy and betrayal from his own party, the APC . Some leaders of the party from the south who have become desperate about 2023 presidency wanted to kick Kalu out of the race through machiavellian way . They don’t like open competition. I was surprised they have no love . They are full of hatred and they want to be President. The amount of hatred in that party is so much. What’s exactly Kalu’s offence ? 2023? Look at what is also happening in Edo state. It’s a pity .
Asked if he is insinuating that the allegations on Kalu was politically motivated, the Arewa youth Leader said it is very clear that it was politically motivated.
According to him , ” I remember when Kalu as a governor initiated the idea of publishing the state accounts on the print media. That showed a lot . I think the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC should have a rethink on Kalu’s case. The resources they have wasted on pursuing the case for the past 13 years. Is it worth it? My advice is that they should sheathe their swords and let Kalu be . They should not allow some desperate politicians to dictate to them what they should do.” He said