The President-General, Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF), Yerima Shettima, has denied ever saying that the South-East geopolitical zone would never produce the President of Nigeria.
He issued the rebuttal while reacting to reports which circulated recently that he said Ndigbo should forget the presidency.
Shettima, who said many of his closest friends and associates were from Igbo land, blamed the report on mischief makers bent on dividing the nation.
The Herald recently reported that the AYCF president was in talks with the Igbo Youths Council (OYC) to produce a consensus presidential candidate in 2023.
He maintained that the focus going into 2023 should be on competency, noting that Igbo land was filled with competent individuals that could steer the ship of the Nigerian state aright.
“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 sommersault 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,” Shettima told Vanguard.