Leader of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alhaji Shettima Yerima has declared that those crediting a statement to him on claims that he doesn’t support Igbo presidency in 2023 are out to blackmail him.
There were reports on some online portals and the social media in particular that Yerima had said Igbo people and the entire Southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria will never produce a president.
However, reacting to the rumours, Yerima in a chat with Vanguard on Sunday, described the statement as the handwork of blackmailers and enemies of Nigeria.
He disagreed with the notion that leaders should be chosen along tribal or religious lines, noting that what Nigeria needs is competence.
“I don’t know those enemies of this country who go about making stories that are not really about me. I am a true Nigerian and I also believe that citizens are equal especially in a country like ours. I can’t remember granting any interview like that but I don’t know what mischief-makers tend to achieve.
“But the truth of the matter is that the story that is credited to me is not true. It is not me. Most of my friends and closest associates come from the southeast and just yesterday, I made a statement and said look, on the issue of the president, we are even looking for competency. It is clear that some people are working to disintegrate the country and I saw we are more divided than we were before. And it was on that basis that I had a rethink and made my position very clear as that yesterday.
To buttress his position, Yerima recalled that he married a wife from the South, which should tell people that he is a detribalized Nigerian.
He called on all citizens of the country to seek the good of the nation rather than engage in needless battles over political leadership.
“Let us come together and form a pan Nigeria movement where we will get across to our counterparts in the southern part of the country. The southern part includes the southeast, southwest, south, and other parts of the country so that we can form a national platform where we can always interface on issues relating to the betterment of this country.
“So, how could I again summersault and go back the other way and say otherwise of it? So, this statement is coming from mischief makers and whatever they are doing will be exposed by God’s grace when the time comes. But on this, I am not part of it and I will never be. Don’t forget I married from the south. How could I have gone that far to begin to build enmity between me and my fellow Nigerian brothers? No, it is not true”, Yerima said.
Meanwhile, Naija News recalls Dr. Jim Nwodo, a prominent Igbo leader and former Governor of Enugu State, recently said that Igbo presidency in 2023 is a non-negotiable issue in Nigeria.