An attempt by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to seek the support of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) in its bid to woo and support the presidential ambition of the Minister of Transport, Rt.Hon.Rotimi Amaechi for the 2023 Presidential race does not get explicit support in the North.
Their host, Alhaji Yerima Shettima of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum told the Igbo leaders that the Arewa Youth would go back to their elders and report to them about their visit and mission.
“I believe that you should bring out your candidate and we will bring out our own, and by the time we meet at the contest, whoever wins, should carry the day,” Yerima said.
While speaking at the Head office of the AYCF in Kaduna on Monday, Secretary-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro said he was in Kaduna with his delegation to solicit the support of Northerners for an Igbo Presidency in 2023.
According to Mazi Isiguzoro, “I thank my brother…Comrade Yerima Shettima for the wonderful reception..since we arrived…In fact, I’m very much amazed, the Kaduna we used to read in the dailies or watch on TV is different from the Kaduna I’m seeing. “
“Everywhere is very serene and very peaceful. I commend my brother and the state government who have made it possible to have a wonderful environment. “
“This is Igbo delegation for 2023 Presidency led by the Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. In fact..we launched this committee about a week ago and we decided that the best thing we should do is to interface with the North.”
”This is because we know that the North with their population..vast majority, the North would always play the role of kingmaker, being the deciding factor in 2023 Presidency.”
”The best thing we should do is to migrate to the other side of the world, come to this place and interface with the real people who are holding the masses.”
”We were privileged to interface with some religious leaders who he ( Yerima) took me to. Also, we had the opportunity to meet some traditional rulers and chieftains. We’ve discussed with them in house.”
”We just opened a channel of communication so that rather than abusive words….we decided to extend a hand of friendship to the North. “
“We asked one question. What happened to the relationship between Nnamdi Azikiwe and Tafawa Balewa? What happened to the existing relationship between the North and the East? Where did we get it wrong? What happened? What transpired?”
”Is it because one person somewhere decided to paint Igbo as if we are Biafrans? No! We believe in one Nigeria. The vast majority population of Igbo are residing in the 19 Northern states with the highest investment worth about 2.3 trillion.”
”By so doing we said no, the best thing we’ve to do is to ensure that we reach out to the fulcrum of the society, the people’s General Yerima Shettima and to dialogue on the way forward as regards 2023,” he said.
The leader of the Igbo delegation for the 2023 presidency, said they would continue to lobby all parts of the country for a power shift to the South East region.
According to him, the Igbo nation including their kinsmen in Rivers and Delta States have abundant human resources that can produce the best for the Presidency.
He mentioned politicians like Rotimi Amaechi, Peter Obi, Okorocha, Umahi, etc as fit to succeed Buhari in 2023.
“We are begging the north to give us the opportunity. You should help us because we know that the north plays the role of kingmaker in the politics of this country. We are here to ask you to support an Igbo man for the presidency. There should be no more abusive words between north and south East as we used to read on pages of newspapers.”
“We are for one Nigeria, we are not for Biafra. We need somebody that is of age that can unite Nigeria. We believe in one Nigeria. We have abundant human resources that can take over from Buhari.”
“We have people who are committed to serving Nigeria. We have seven States including Rivers and the Delta States where we have Igbo speaking brothers. We have politicians like Rotimi Amaechi, Peter Obi, Rochas Okorocha, among others that can run for the presidency”.
He however singled out Hon. Rotimi Amaechi declared that they would support him to become President in 2023.
The AYCF President, Yerima Shettima told the Ohanaeze delegation that it was good to negotiate when seeking power.
He however cautioned that nobody achieved good things through threat.
“I have always believed in Pan Nigeria. I believe in the unity of one Nigeria. I have been part of many struggles. I am not happy that Nigeria is not where it is. People who don’t have an idea of the history of Nigeria resorted to abusive words and threats. They resort to championing the cause of Biafra. Gone are those days you use the threat to look for power.”
“It is a welcome development that you are here to discuss the 2023 general election. Politics is about negotiation. You need to rise above board. Nobody will entrust power to you if you resort to the threat.”
“However, democratically I don’t understand what zoning means. I believe that you should bring out your candidate and we will bring out our own, and by the time we meet at the contest, whoever wins, should carry the day. Nevertheless, we will go back to our elders and report to them about your visit and mission,” the Arewa youths leader said.