The President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alh. Shetima Yerima has given reasons why the Igbos will not be in consideration for the 2023 presidency race. Shettima who was answering questions from a reporter stated that the 2023 Presidency is for the North and no other part of the country can clinch ticket aside it.
Shedding light on the rationale behind his stance, Mr. Yerima went down memory lane to emphasize that the North has been marginalized by the South since the return to democracy in 1999.
“This is a democracy. And we run a constitutional democracy. And constitutional democracy is all about people, it’s about numbers. And I have no doubt in my mind, we have the number. I don’t want to sound immodest.
“The 2015 election, 2019 election has clearly defined who is who. I am not trying to be arrogant and I am also not saying that it must be forceful on Nigerians.” he said while explaining the competitive number-capacity in the North.
He buttressed his point by stating that Obasanjo (from the South) had an 8-year uninterrupted tenure from 1999 to 2007 before handing over power democratically to Yar’adua who could only govern actively for just one year before he fell ill and eventually died in office.
“We had an acting President in that capacity, which is Jonathan. Umaru (Yar’adua) had only one year, Jonathan had the other year, then subsequently there was issue of “doctrine of necessity” that suddenly….after the demise of Yar’adua, the second year and a few months, there was an issue of doctrine of necessity that made him (Jonathan) substantive President at that time.
“Now, in 2011, it is expected that Jonathan shouldn’t have contest, since it’s about rotational presidency and we are supposed to have uninterrupted eight years, now there was an interruption in 2011 where Jonathan contested and won the election even some of us were totally against it because we know it will come to a day like this.
“He won the election. You know, normally it is very rare and very difficult to upturn election against an incumbent Government…if you put up the eight years of Obasanjo, the three years of Jonathan, the six years of Jonathan per se (per say), you will realise that if you put up your pen and paper, you realise that the South had about fifteen years.
“For fifteen years (we) are being marginalized. That is the language. nowYar’adua had only one year for the Northerners’ slot. Even if Buhari successfully finishes his eight years, automatically put together we have only nine years.
“Even if we are given another opportunity in 2023, if we have another one shot that we may likely get, Godwilling, we have only thirteen years.
“Already we have been cheated for two years, but anyway it is better to go to thirteen than to just go to nine,” Mr. Shettima argued.
While responding to the concerns about the marginalization of the South East region, he said: “On normal circumstances, one would have assumed that the South East should be given an opportunity, but with the trend of things, with the events we are seeing today, with one of their lose-son going about threatening the unity of the country, it is a clear indication that they are not prepared.
“We are moving forward. You cannot on one hand seek for justice and on another hand again, you are threatening the unity of the country. It’s not done anywhere.
“So if they (South East Nigeria) are truly serious, we should begin to see them to stop talking anyhow. Stop threatening Nigerians.
On that basis then Nigeria will begin to get comfortable, then we know they are prepared and subsequently we can negotiate. Politics is about negotiating.”
Alh. Yerima Shettima then said the North would produce a competent candidate “with full capacity, certainly not what we are seeing today,” who would be “sellable” to all Nigerians.