Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari has said he didn’t neglect the people of Southeast geopolitical zone despite not getting good number of votes in the zone in the 2019 presidential election.
The president said the poor results did not affect his contribution to the development of the region, noting that his government has built roads, and a second Niger bridge, and has continued to protect lives and property in the zone.
Buhari spoke during the public presentation of the book, “APGA and the Igbo Question” written by the founder of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Chekwas Okorie.
The president who was represented by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, noted that his administration would do its best for every part of the country, because “Nigeria is one nation under God.”
Buhari described Okorie as a man who saw far ahead and aligned with him prior to 2019 elections as well as visited him with some illustrious Igbo sons who pledged to support him so that the nature of politics in the region would change.
While appreciating the author of the book, Adesina quoted Buhari as saying, “Chief Chekwas Okorie was the man who wants the best for his people. He saw far ahead and aligned with us towards the 2019 polls.
“He tried to bring his people to our side, he visited me here with some illustrious Igbo sons and pledged to rally the Igbo behind me in 2019 so that the nature of politics and political alliances in the region will change. I appreciated and still appreciate his wise vision. Did Chief Okorie succeed?
“That is for historians to decide after studying the result of the polls. The results are out there and when we study, it would help us to know whether what Chief Okorie wanted for the Igbo nation was what came to pass. Then Mr President said irrespective of the results we recorded, see what we have done in that part of the country.
“We have built roads, we have built the second Niger bridge, we still try to maintain security there and many others. We will do our best for every part of the country. We are one nation under God.”
The Minister of Labour and Employment and presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, Dr Chris Ngige, said he was dramatis personae in the book authored by Chief Okorie.
He added that although he was in the Peoples Democratic Party then, APGA was formed to offer protection to Igbo representatives in the National Assembly.
He blamed the elite in Nigeria for inflicting untold hardship on the people in their quest to amass excessive wealth at the expense of the people.
Okorie debunked the claim among some Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari has a morbid hatred for the Igbo ethnic group.
“It is not true that Buhari hates the Igbos, At a time, he made Chuba Okadigbo and Chief Edwin Umezuoke his running mates and now, see little me, he sent his Special Adviser Media to come for this occasion.”
Okorie who had since crossed over to the APC called on President Buhari to use this special Presidential dispensation and his prerogatives as enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and other prisoners of conscience.
Okorie said that his appeal was “made with every sense of patriotism and responsibility”, adding “I strongly believe that the insecurity in certain sections of Nigeria, especially, the South East and the South-South will be reduced by a great extent.”
Also speaking, a former PDP Vice-chairman (South-East), Chief Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu, who represented the President Ohanaeze socio-cultural group, Prof. George Obiozor, urged the PDP to zone the Presidency to the South as a matter of conscience.
He argued that since the APC which does not have it in the constitution had zoned the Presidency to the South, there was the need for PDP to zone it to the South because it is already in the party’s constitution.
The chairman of the occasion and one-time chairman of the Police Service Commission, Simon Okeke, expressed shock that APC which does not have rotation in its constitution had zoned the Presidency to the South while the PDP had thrown it open.
He stated that with the move, the PDP was heading to disaster