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2023 PRESIDENTIAL RACE: Ezeife Declares Tinubu Unfit to Succeed Buhari



Former Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has finally come clear after weeks of seeming prevarication and suspicion, declaring in thunder that Bola Tinubu is not fit for President because of his twin baggage of ill health and Muslim-Muslim ticket conspiracy to destabilise Nigeria.

He argued that only the ignorant or those who have lost their senses would vote for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate.

Ezeife, Chairman of the Igbo Elders Consultative Forum (IECF), pressed the point in a statement he issued from the United States on Tuesday night, eight days to the official start of election campaign on 28 September.

Tinubu Campaign Organisation Adebayo Onanuga countered that Ezeife is only expressing support for Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi, according to The PUNCH.

Onanuga insisted Tinubu is hale, hearty, and is the most qualified for highest office domiciled in the Villa.

Ezeife issued the statement in reaction to reports last week the IECF is scrambling to paper the cracks in its ranks over his visit to Tinubu’s Muslim-Muslim ticket running mate Kashim Shettima, seen as negating the Igbo Presidency Project.

Ezeife visited Shettima on 31 August, pouring fuel on the romour of sabotage sparked in June when Ezeife abruptly cancelled two press conferences.

IECF claimed in its official statement the visit was a courtesy one, but sources in the body said it has created controversy as they are Igbo Presidency advocates who support Obi.

The chasm is fuelled by the cancellation at the last minute of press conferences Ezeife had scheduled for 14 June and 24 June at his residence in Asokoro, Abuja.

He did not offer explanation for the cancellation, and the IECF had, until he spoke up last night, maintained a deafening silence, stoking more speculation big spending politicians have infiltrated its ranks.

“I’m not sure I know what is going on among Igbo elders. The only thing is that after those two aborted press conferences and even meetings, we decided to concentrate elsewhere and watch,” recounted an IECF member who did not want to be named.

“There are people who came to hijack the place for the purpose of making money. We don’t know whether they’re being sponsored by the APC. We think he [Ezeife] was told that it wasn’t good.”

Ezeife explained his statement titled, “Why I went to Shettima”, that he visited the former Borno Governor to seek assistance for a businessman whose hotel and other properties was destroyed by the Borno government.

He said besides the fact Tinubu (who claims to be 70 but is actually 86) “being too old for the office of President of Nigeria”, the Muslim-Muslim ticket also knocks him off.

The full statement, per reporting by The PUNCH, is reproduced below:

Response to a young businessman’s distress call

“Yes, I went, uninvited, to Shettima, I was accompanied by a Maiduguri-born and brought-up businessman of South-East extraction. Why?

“More than a year ago, a well-built young man came to my office in Abuja crying desperately. He talked like someone considering suicide! He told me that he was finished, that the clothes on him were the only property left for him.

“He inherited a hotel from his father and built two more hotels by himself. All three hotels and a warehouse were bulldozed by the Borno State government.

“His other properties were also seized. He had helped the campaign efforts of the current Borno State Governor (Babagana Zulum). He also bought a bus for the campaign.

“He was directed to come and see me. I made efforts to see the Borno State Governor but did not succeed.

“Recently, the young man rushed to my office and told me that Shettima, who handed it over to the current governor can influence him to listen to his (the businessman’s) case and do some justice.

“He told me that if I met Shettima and pleaded with him, the problem would be solved. He added that Shettima was in town (Abuja) that day.

“That if we went, we would meet him at his Abuja residence. As he saw it, my meeting with Shettima would end his frustration, suffering and threat to his life.

“I did not give it a second thought because the young man spoke from the depth of his heart. I jumped into the car with him and we headed to where he knew Shettima was.”

Shettima respectful

“Shettima received me with great respect and did not keep me waiting too long before calling me in for discussion. I pleaded with Shetima to appeal to his successor for some justice to be done to the businessman,” Ezeife added.

“He listened carefully and I was amazed by his positive responses which included a commitment to help the businessman directly by himself if the Governor does not do enough. I was elated and I thanked him profusely.

“As we were leaving the office, Shettima bade me goodbye with a handshake. I did see camera men taking pictures of us. But I knew what I went for. I shall go to anybody who can genuinely help a person in life-threatening distress.

Tinubu’s brain power deficiency in old age

“There was nothing political in the visit. Truly, I do not consider Shettima an opponent in the 2023 presidential election. Why?

“His principal, Jagaban Tinubu, is really not well. Only people who are not well informed, or have lost sanity, will vote for him to go and die in Aso Rock.

“Also, Tinubu is too old for the office of President of Nigeria. A very representative group of Northern youths came to my house and declared that nobody above 65 years old should contest for the office of the President of Nigeria.

“The greatest problem of the old is brain power deficiency, especially loses of memory. I explained this to Yoruba youths who proposed my joining the race for President of Nigeria.

“Should everything have been alright for the Tinubu ticket, it’s Muslim-Muslim nature knocks it out – removes it from consideration.

Time for a new Nigeria

“I appeal to Nigerians of every ethnic group and religious faith to bow to the will of the Almighty God, who seems to have taken over from our conscienceless politicians, to bring about a new Nigeria, to rescue Nigeria and revive her destiny – the country to which He poured an abundance of His blessings, making her the very most gifted Country on earth.

“Yes, Ecclesiastes says there is a time and a season for everything under the sun.

“This appears to be the time and the season for the manifestation of the new Nigeria which must develop to a world superpower, raising the respect and dignity of all blacks on earth and participating in, and improving the leadership of the world.

“God’s design and will dominate man’s will in, and mess up, of Nigeria.”

“We have said many times that …Tinubu is hale and hearty, fit and most qualified for Nigeria’s highest office. Let anyone who has a contrary claim prove otherwise,” he told The PUNCH.

“Enough of all these malicious statements from quack doctors, saying things they are not qualified to say.

“Like Peter Obi, the Labour Party candidate who groundlessly pronounced on Tinubu’s health without being a medical doctor two weeks ago, Ezeife has merely shamelessly regurgitated his candidate’s statement.

“We know Ezeife as an economist, not a medical doctor unless he is now making a claim to be a quack. We know him as a rabid supporter of Peter Obi. And we do not begrudge him for his political views.

“It is a shame that the 83-year-old tried to hide under a so-called youthful group to canvas for his candidate while knocking out Tinubu and Abubakar Atiku on the ground of age.

“According to his warped logic, only anyone who is below 65 should lead Nigeria. We are surprised that the octogenarian is making the claim when the leader of the world’s second leading democracy, Joe Biden, is close to 80.

“Two years ago, Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia retired at 95 as prime minister. He retired not because of brain power deficiency, but because he had fulfilled his term in office.”

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