The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has reacted to comments credited to former governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, that the South-East region will kneel and prostrate to other regions in the country to get the presidency in 2023.
The President of the AYCF, Yerima Shettima, in a statement on Monday, said it was too late for the South-East to ‘kneel and beg’ to produce a president in 2023 as any form of goodwill and trust between the region and the North has been destroyed by the actions of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu.
Shettima advised the South-East to go beyond begging and look beyond 2023 because the next two years might be too late to produce the country’s president.
“The South-East should start engaging and lobbying other regions of the country beyond the 2023 election,” Shettima said in the statement.
“Nigerians can’t be fooled by Ezeife’s sudden turn around because he has been anti-North for the past 20 years.
“It’s not enough at this injury time, after he has spent years being anti-North.
“They allowed the likes of Nnamdi Kanu to turn against the North, kill northern traders in the east and now they want to kneel and prostrate to the North.
“The Ezeife that I know for about 20 years, has been anti-North. He has been anti-Nigeria and anti-Buhari, and about one year to the election, he now somersaulted and became a repentant person, nobody is a fool. Moreover, he is not alone in all of these.
“Some of their utterances do not in any way, promote national unity. Now, the likes of Ezeife suddenly somersaulted and say even if it takes them to kneel down, they would.
“We all know that this kneeling down is not the same kneeling down we all know; we are not fools.
“We don’t have problem with an Igbo man becoming a president but they should do the needful and not under this circumstances of abuses, threats, and intimidations.
“For me, kneeling down would not be enough, they need to heal the injury and go through the processes, so that it would serve as a deterrent to other Nigerians that you can’t eat your cake and have it, it’s not done anywhere.
“When the Kanu and others from the South-East were busy abusing the sensibility of Nigerians while believing that they have one of theirs who will use his primitive attitude of intimidation to get their way, they should have realized that it won’t take them anywhere.
“The attitude of this their so-called hero, Nnamdi Kanu, is a clear indication that they are not very much enlightened and exposed.
“I expect them to be more exposed not to allow such a person speak on their behalf believing that he is not a champion that can give them the presidency on the platter of gold.
“For me, it’s a good thing that the likes of Ezeife has decided to realize that intimidation, blackmail, and harassment can’t give them the Presidency, so they should continue doing and sustaining the tempo by pleading with Nigerians to forgive them for their utterances and abuse of our sensibility as a people.
“They should retract all the mess they have done to this country, so that at the end of the day; we can have a common front.
“The South-East are also Nigerians but they must understand that politics is about understanding, negotiating; but not by intimidation in a very primitive form by their so-called champion who talks and barks like a dog.
“Knowing that he can’t help them achieve the presidency, some of them are saying they are ready to beg; but we are not saying they should kneel and beg, but do the needful by reaching out, engage people so as to build trust and confidence in people.
“All the South-East need now is confidence building; they should go across board and convince Nigerians that they are prepared.
“2023 might be too late for them to do anything, maybe; they should look at the future which is the truth of the matter.
“And in the future, they should not allow somebody with bad attitude to come out and speak for them. That primitive attitude does not sell anymore, violence does not sell anybody anymore.”
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