President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alhaji Shettima Yerima has denied a statement credited to him that Igbo people from the Southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria will never produce a president.
It will be recalled that the former Governor of old Enugu State, Dr. Jim Nwodo recently said that 2023 was non-negotiable for Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction.
Against this declaration, the social media later became awash with reports that Igbo will never be given the opportunity of governing the country.
But speaking with Vanguard yesterday, Yerima said that the statement must have emanated from mischief makers who were bent on dividing the country.
He said that what Nigeria needed at this time was competency which he believed that the people of the southeast to move the country forward.
He, therefore, dissociated himself from the statement, stressing that most of his friends and associates were from the zone.
“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.
“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.