2023: Igbo group berates Shettima, insists on equity

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 29 December 2019 | 633 times

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•AYC President Yerima Shettima

A group known as Igbo Presidency Project Movement 2023 has described the calls by the Leader of the Arewa Youth Consultative (AYC) Forum, Yerima Shettima, for the North to produce the president for the country in 2023 as a slight to the sensibility of the 365 ethnic groups that make up Nigeria.

Shettima had recently called for power to remain in the North at the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight year tenure in 2023.

Spesking in a meeting held in Awka, the group warned the North to respect the zoning of the presidency by relinquishing power to the South come 2023.

A statement released after its meeting and signed by its National Coordinator, Igboeli Arinzechukwu reads: “Nations are not held together by force but by a sense of justice, fairness and equity. Thus it is instrumental for young Nigerians like us who believe in the unity of Nigeria based on fairness and equity to immediately react to statements made by the coordinator of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima.

“Shettima clearly called for power to remain in the North after President Muhammadu Buhari would have exhausted his eight year tenure in 2023.

“Shettima not only made the call for the presidency to remain in the North but also in hubris like manner dismissed the morally backed agitation of Ndigbo to produce one of its own for the office come 2023.

“Such a statement smacks largely of ignorance or contempt of the attempt by those who fought to restore our democracy and preserve the fragile unity of Nigeria by reaching the conventional notion of zoning which encouraged the rotation of the presidency between North and South.

“Rotational presidency has remained a trend in Nigeria, and has been followed almost religiously with the exception of the Goodluck Jonathan era which was brought upon us by the demise of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in office but was immediately corrected in 2015 when these progressive forces brought change.”

The group insisted that the present situation today in the country cannot accommodate the thinking of Yerima saying that good leadership is not about where one comes from.

It observed that the Nigerian nation and democracy is not yet mature for such, hence the need for zoning.

The statement added: “Since all the zones in the south have had a shot at the presidency in the persons of Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan of both South West and South South respectively, then it behoves us in the spirit of equity and to strengthen the unity of this country allow a president of Igbo extraction

“While we agree that Shettima is entitled to his opinion, it is however more sacrosanct that we enlighten him and all others who may seek to toe such path by understanding the consequences of denying Ndigbo and the South-East Region, the only major ethnic group that is yet to have a shot at the presidency since the return of democracy as well as the most marginalised group since independence as regards national leadership.”

The group assured that in its effort to achieve its set out objective, it will work with all stakeholders to deliver the presidency to the South East in 2023.


Source: News Express

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