By Abdul Usman and Dayo Aborishade, Abuja
National President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum ( AYCF) ,Alhaji Shettima Yerima, has pleaded with the northern power brokers to consider supporting a candidate of Igbo extraction for the 2023 election for peace and stability sake in the country .
This is even as he declared support for former Governor of Abia state, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu as the North’s most preferred presidential candidate , revealing that International Community and many Consultative forums in the north are also rooting for Kalu .
THE NIGERIA DAILY recalls that Yerima is a member of the coalition that wanted Igbo people sent packing from the North in 2017.
He is also a member of the coalition that established Operation Shege Ka Fasa, the northern version of the regional security outfit that was raised by the South-West, Amotekun
In an exclusive interview granted to THE NIGERIA DAILY on Thursday night in Abuja , Yerima also defended the North saying that political pundits and opinion builders are not always right in their description and perception of the North.
According to the Arewa leader , “ those thinking that we don’t like the Igbo and the North will not support them for 2023 presidency are totally wrong . The whole country cannot function without its part and the South East is part of the whole .
“Notwithstanding the fact that the North still need another term after President Buhari; the right, honourable and just thing to do is to support South East achieve their presidential goal in 2023. It will help to stabilize the country. The country need healing and greater unity and the best thing to do is to give total support to the people of the South East .
“The South-West has had their complete tenure through President Olusegun Obasanjo, South-South had had a tenure through President Goodluck Jonathan and South-East has not gotten it in the new dispensation.
Speaking further, he noted that “South East being among the three regional power blocks and geopolitical structures to which the British relinquished power at independence in 1960 need a seat at the Centre
“So to have another president in 2023 that is not Igbo would be unjust, inequitable and unfair. With the presidency having by national consensus rotated between the north and the southwest, 2023 should be the turn of the Igbos. There is no just, fair and equitable reason to delay the rotation of the presidency to the southeast by another presidential election in 2023.” He said
The Arewa Leader said that every Nigerian is entitled to his ambition, adding that doing the right thing is his utmost concern .
” We are talking of doing the right thing here . We shouldn’t just be buried in our ambition, we should also consider posterity, stability and unity of this country . When you talk of ally , you talk about those who have been with us since inception. You talk about those that the North considers as loyal brothers . Don’t think that the North will look the other way when the chips are down . As long as I know, many Consultative forums in the North are rooting for Former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu. He is detribalized enough to have the trust of entire Nigerians . He has the wherewithal and capacity to turn the economy of this country around. I can assure you that he is the most preferred candidate of the North from the entire south. Even as a devout Christian, we know how he accommodated muslims in his state when he was governor. We knew how he built several mosques for them . Even the international community are rooting for him, so the North is not the only people in this .