‘Buhari’s Appointments Serve Igbo Right’
• It’s Wrong Signal, Say Ajulo, Malaolu
• Positions Will Go Round — FG Assures
ALTHOUGH the Presidency has stated that further political appointments would balance what critics describe as lopsidedness, perceived exclusion of the Igbo has received commendation in some quarters.
Some members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), at the weekend, applauded the non-inclusion of Igbo in key appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement signed by Uchenna Madu, National Director of Information of the MASSOB faction, in Owerri, the group declared support for what it called “Buhari’s anti-Igbo policy”, adding that it would teach Igbo leaders and elite a lesson.
It will be recalled that during the last presidential election, people in the South East and South South geo-political zones voted en masse for former President Goodluck Jonathan who lost to Buhari.
Some prominent Igbo had expressed disgust over the appointments, which appeared to favour the North, describing it as anti-Igbo. There had been expectations that Igbo personalities in the All Progressives Congress (APC), such as Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu or former governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, would clinch slots.
But in a statement Thursday, the Presidency noted that appointment which would favour other geo-political zones were on the way, urging Nigerians to be patient.
Also, speaking to The Guardian, yesterday, Special Adviser to the President, Mr. Shehu Garba, said: “There will come ministers, heads of government departments, federal boards and ambassadors. At the end of the exercise, no part of the country will be left feeling left out. “Our brothers and sisters and fellow countrymen should bear with the new administration, as it takes measured steps towards an effective takeoff.
These appointments are just beginning.” Meanwhile, National Secretary of the Labour Party (LP), Kayode Ajulo, and Secretary General, Yoruba Ronu, Akin Malaolu, have accused Buhari of treating the nation like a conquered territory.
While Ajulo described the appointments as scary and ominous, Malaolu said the situation is a threat to the corporate existence of the country, and capable of fanning ethnic mistrust and crisis.
Ajulo said: “I have been stricken speechless by this development. It is unfortunate that at a time like this, the President appears to be reneging on his promise to forge a united Nigeria, and has resorted to acting like a vindictive conqueror. “It is particularly mind-numbing when one considers the manner in which the appointments, so far, have sidelined a major region of the country, the South East, completely.”
Ajulo lamented the plight of people of the South East, whom he described as “stranded or marooned at sea in the Buhari administration.” He wondered why Buhari appears to be fulfilling the prophecies of those who, prior to the March elections, described him as champion of a Northern agenda.
Malaolu, on his part, urged the President to, as a matter of necessity, reconsider the issue before it degenerates beyond mere outcry to hatred and mistrust among the geopolitical zones. “Even the South West that supported his ambition and voted massively for him is being sidelined.
While it is true Buhari may have good intention and is looking for credible people, he shouldn’t create an impression that his people are the only set of credible Nigerians.
This will end up fanning the embers of hatred and disunity which consequences may be more devastating than the corruption he is fighting,” he said.
Malaolu, however, blamed the situation on the leadership of Yoruba representatives in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), whom he accused of placing selfish interest above the zoning arrangement in the party in the first instance.
He specifically flayed former governors of Lagos and Osun States, Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, for playing into the hands of Northerners.