By Emmanuel Uzodinma,
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, over 10 Arewa Youth groups have declared support for the next Nigeria President to come from the South-East.
The groups, including Arewa Youth Forum, Arewa Youths Coalition for Peace, Northern Central Youth Club and Youths for One Nigeria made the declaration in Imo State yesterday during a youth summit.
Apart from the Arewa Youth groups, several Afenifere and Igbo youth groups, who were also at the summit, toed same line.
Spokesperson of the Arewa Youths, Alhaji Haruna Waziri stated that the decision would engender national unity and cohesion.
Waziri, who noted that the convener of the Nigeria Youth Summit, Mr. Iheanachor Ezeakor, an indigene of Arondizuogu in Imo State, would be backed by the Arewa Youths for the presidency, said the best Nigeria should do at the moment was to have an Igbo man as President in 2019.
“Today we are making history by endorsing a youth to run for the number one sit in Nigeria. Mr. Iheanacho Ezeakor is a youth who has cut the barriers of ethnicity and religion, a youth the Northern youths believe in, a youth who is a true Nigerian”, he declared.
Asked how such tall dream would come to reality, Waziri said, “yes, it is a difficult task but, Insha Allah, we shall change the status quo.
“We do not believe in things not working out; we believe that this is time to change the narrative in Nigeria. This community, Arondizuogu is a place where democracy started in the country and that is why we are here today to correct all that have gone wrong.
“We made this statement in Enugu, Lagos and Abuja; today the climax of it all is taking place in Ezeakor’s village here in Arondizuogu.
“We took this step because our leaders have failed us; they are old and tired; we can do it because the youths contribute the major votes.
“I personally campaigned for Buhari but we are not happy with him; the entire Northern youths are not happy with him, forget all the propaganda.”
On the choice of an Igbo man, the youth leader said, “it is no longer about ethnicity or religion now; it is about who you have confidence in, Ezeakor is a detribalized Nigerian; we don’t want fanatics; we want a true Nigerian.
“His victory will not only quel the agitation for Biafra but would further unite Nigerians, bring us together, whether you are from the South or the North; if you are a Nigerian, you are a Nigerian and you can practise your religion everywhere, that is what we want.”
Also speaking, leader of Igbo groups at the summit, Comrade Ogbonna Okoro said the youths would push for the project in a different political platform outside the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In a remark, an elated Iheanacho said “I’m quite humbled over these endorsements. However, I do hope that another youth will have a bigger endorsement.
“My own as the convener of Nigerian Youth Summit is to make sure that we things will not remain the same because we are tired of hearing that youths are the leaders of the tomorrow.
“So, I’m just acting as the catalyst, to motivate the youths; we are not fighting the government but we want them to understand that we have come of age.
“I think I will be considering coming out to run for presidency in 2019. I know it is not a child’s play but I’m giving it a consideration, seeing this volume of support, down to my village today. I will run.”
On political platform, he said, “we will leave the PDP and the APC for the old politicians, because we are not coming as old politicians but as system changers. So, we are going for a different party to be announced soon.”