Southeast leaders, army generals visit Buhari, make case for the zone
Some Igbo leaders, including retired army generals, have paid a visit to the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, where they made case for the Igbo in the in-coming (All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government.
Former President-General of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr Dozie Ikedife, who was on the entourage, disclosed this in Nnewi.
He said the purpose of the visit was to appeal to the president-elect, to factor in the Igbo interest — and not leave them in the cold — as he appoints his principal officers as well as in infrastructural development.
Ikedife explained that the request became necessary in view of the fact that Buhari did not receive substantial support from the Southeast geo-political zone during the presidential elections.
“You know people of the Southeast voted heavily for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and not very much for the APC. And the impression will be that the people of the Southeast did not support the President-elect. Our visit is to let the President-elect know that he is the President for all and that he has to accommodate people from the Southeast in his administration,” Ikedife explained.
“We have people who are capable, qualified, hardworking and technocrats who can work with him in Igbo land. And there are people who worked tirelessly for the APC to win in the Southeast, people who did not vie for any elective position, no matter the low number of votes they attracted because of the overwhelming Southeast support for the PDP. It is important that these people should be accommodated,” he said.
The Ohaneze chief pointed out that he was too old to be given any strenuous appointment and could only play on the wings.
Ikedife disclosed that their discussion with the President-elect did not centre on infrastructure in Igbo land. “But during the President-elect’s campaign in the Southeast, I chaired one of the occasions when he visited the entrepreneurs and leaders of the economy in the Southeast; we presented our primary needs, including electricity, water, roads and construction of the Second Niger Bridge, among others. We documented these things.”
On General Buhari’s reaction to their request, he said the President-elect was friendly and appreciated the visit but did not say whether, or not, he was going to grant the request “since we did not sign any contract with him.”