Ahead of the 2023 general election in the country, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has declared its full support for Igbo Presidency.
The group also declared its total support and preference for Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate and former Governor of Abia State.
These positions of the AYCF were made known by its National President, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, according to a report by the NIGERIAN DAILY.
Yerima called on northern power brokers to consider supporting Igbo Presidency in 2023 for fairness, inclusion, and equity.
Declaring support for Senator Orji Kalu, the youth leader described the federal lawmaker as North’s most preferred presidential candidate.
He further revealed that the International Community as well as many Consultative forums in the North are already rooting for Orji Kalu.
Alhaji Yerima is a member of the coalition that gave Igbos in the North a quit notice in 2017. He is also a member of the coalition that established Operation “Shege Ka Fasa”, a regional security outfit in the North.
In an interview monitored by 9news Nigeria on Thursday, the group defended the North saying that political pundits and opinion builders are not always right in their description and perception of the region.
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 needs 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 needs 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.”
Alhaji Yerima 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.”
The Arewa leader who noted that every Nigerian is entitled to his or her ambition, however, said that doing the right thing was 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.”