Shettima said the Southeast should look beyond 2023 because the next two years might be too late to produce the country’s president.
The Arewa youth leader who spoke to Daily Post was reacting to the remark by former Anambra State Governor, Chukwuemeka Ezeife on 2023 presidency.
Ezeife had said the Southeast was ready to kneel and beg other regions to support the 2023 presidential ambition of the Southeast.
But Shettima said Nigerians can’t be fooled by Ezeife’s sudden turn around because he has been anti-North for the past 20 years.
The AYCF National President said the Southeast should start engaging and lobbying other regions of the country beyond the 2023 election.
He, however, cautioned the region against allowing people like pro-Biafra agitator, Nnamdi Kanu to champion their cause for presidency.
Asked to comment on Ezeife’s claim of the Southeast’s preparedness to kneel and prostrate to beg for the presidency, Shettima said: “It’s not enough at this injury time, after he has spent years being anti-North. Ezeife that I know for about 20 years has been anti-North, recently he turned out to be anti-Nigeria, anti-Buhari, and about one year to the election, he now somersaulted and became a repentant person, nobody is a fool. Moreover, he is not alone in all of these.
“Some of their utterances do not in any way promote national unity. Now if the likes of him suddenly somersaulted and say even if it takes them to kneel down, they would. We all know that this kneeling down is not the same kneeling down we all know; we are not fools.
“We don’t have problem with an Igbo man becoming a president but they should do the needful and not under this circumstances of abuses, threats, and intimidations.
“For me, kneeling down would not be enough, they need to heal the injury and go through the processes, so that it would serve as a deterrent to other Nigerians that you can’t eat your cake and have it, it’s not done anywhere.
“When the Southeast were busy abusing the sensibility of Nigerian while believing that they have one of theirs who will use his primitive attitude of intimidation to get their way, they should have realized that it won’t take them anywhere. The attitude of this their so-called hero under detention (Nnamdi Kanu) is a clear indication that they are not very much enlightened and exposed. I expect them to be more exposed not to allow such a person speak on their behalf believing that he is a champion that can give them the presidency on the platter of gold.
“For me, it’s a good thing that the likes of them have decided to realize that intimidation, blackmail, and harassment can’t give them the Presidency, so they should continue doing and sustaining the tempo by pleading with Nigerians to forgive them for their utterances and abuse of our sensibility as a people. They should retract all the mess they have done to this country, so that at the end of the day; we can have a common front.
“The Southeast are also Nigerians but they must understand that politics is about understanding, negotiating; but not by intimidation in a very primitive form by this their so-called champion who talks and barks like a dog.
“Knowing that he can’t help them achieve the presidency, some of them are saying they are ready to beg; but we are not saying they should kneel and beg, but do the needful by reaching out, engage people so as to build trust and confidence in people.
“All the Southeast need now is confidence building, they should go across board and convince Nigerians that they are prepared. 2023 might be too late for them to do anything, maybe; they should look at the future which is the truth of the matter.
“And in the future, they should not allow somebody with bad attitude to come out and speak for them. That primitive attitude does not sell anymore, violence does not sell anybody anymore. We should be more mature and civil in our approaches so that we can build a country of our dreams where we can all be proud. Nobody wants the country to break and if we all understand this, it will be better for us than going separately.”