Posted by News Express | 4 August 2015 | 3,800 times
President of Aka Ikenga, the Igbo intelligentsia group, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his few months in office, has discriminated against the Igbo.
According to the legal luminary, out of the over 16 appointments the president has made, he didn’t consider any South-East person worthy enough for any of the positions.
This, he said in this interview culled from Saturday Sun, must have been informed by the president’s poor electoral outing in the zone during the recent presidential election.
Uwazurike said the Constitution actually takes care of any fear of any group. The South-East and the South-South didn’t vote for President Buhari.
“Remember one thing, we told our people to vote according to the dictates of their consciences. They have the freedom to vote, which is guaranteed by the constitution.
"The same constitution talks of Federal Character. Sections 13 and 14 of the 1999 Constitution, takes care of all these things. One, what is the basic function of government – security and welfare of the people? The other one is the nature of all appointments including army officers.
“So, when it was reported that Mr. President allegedly said, ‘those who gave me 98 per cent votes would get more appointments than those who gave me two per cent votes,’ I was baffled.
“Does it mean he doesn’t have a legal adviser? Any constitutional lawyer, even a pupil lawyer, will tell you that, the very moment you are elected president, you are the president of all. The president-elect automatically becomes the property of the Federal Government.
“That was the reason that as soon as he emerged the president-elect, the former president put him in a Government House, and designated an office for him, at the Defence House. That was where he was until he moved to Aso Rock.
“You are the property of Nigeria and not the property of All Progressives Congress (APC). He may be the leader of APC, but he is the property of Nigeria and when he speaks, Nigeria has spoken.
“Therefore, it is wrong for him to discriminate against any section of Nigeria on the basis of voting. It is not good for us to see this man as their president and not our president," he said.
On President Buhari's radical statement at his inauguration tying him to nobody, Nwazurike said, "he was talking to those who financed his election. I understood that statement to mean that those who invested heavily to finance his campaigns, please, I don’t belong to you, that he actually belongs to Nigerians. If there is any other meaning, I don’t understand.
Also speaking on former Minister of Finance, Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the lawyer said the Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, was on a vendetta mission, in which there is no substance.
“From what I understand, his government applied and sought approval for money to be deducted from a particular institution, and the Minister of Finance said, ‘No’. Now that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is no more the Minister of Finance, Governor Oshiomohole has been raising dust about so many things.
“One was that he was supposed to go looking along with others to see the situation. But, before he could even look, he had told us how much was missing. In other words, the judge has given the judgment even before hearing the facts of the case.
“While we were pondering over this, before you know, when he wakes up, it is Ngozi did that and when he sleeps, it is Ngozi did that. It makes no sense at all. He is wrong, and it is a case of witch-hunting.
“He is just trying to raise enough dust so that President Buhari would try to destroy this our brilliant first class lady. I’m just reminding him that whatever that goes around comes around, and by this time next year, he would no longer be the governor, and would be looking towards the centre.
“The witch-hunting of Ngozi reminds me of the witch-hunting of the former Chief of Army Staff, General Ihejirika. As soon as he finished serving his tenure, they went after him. They want to extend this witch-hunting to Mrs. Allison Madueke.
“Demonising Ngozi or demonising the South-east sounds funny, and the same thing has moved in to appointments. With all the appointments that have been made, none for South-East. With about 16 appointments, 14 went to the North; about two to the South-west.
“When we complained, what were we told that it was purely on merit? I’m happy that they are talking of merit. The same people talking of merit were the same people, who have made it impossible for our children to go school. When it comes to admission in schools, they would say it is not based on merit but on quota system.
“When something good is going to come to Igbo land, we are told that is purely on merit, and if is on merit believe you me, Igbos would come first. It is mind bugling that in the list of highly educated officers from the rank of brigadier and above, that there is no Igbo officer worthy enough to be a service chief.
“All those banding of words of merit of this and that are just things done by charlatans. We are watching and would tackle them one by one as each case arises.
“Buhari has said that he is going to probe the regime of former President Jonathan. Jonathan had before told him to be fair, and probe also governments before him. Where do you place this?
“It is a case of carrying the campaigns too far. Buhari was his opponent as sitting president, and Jonathan saw that he was losing, he conceded defeat and moved on. The whole world stood up for him, in other words, they see him as an African statesman, very rare. In this country, we are looking for people who live by example.
“If you are going to fight corruption, you will have our support 100 per cent, but please, fight corruption unlimited. He belongs to APC, which is fighting PDP. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was there for eight years, and he was also the petroleum minister. He gave out contracts for electricity and paid 100 per cent and we never saw light.
“He sold out all the Federal Government houses in Lagos and our national patrimonies, and what are we to make of that? No, I will not look into it because it was Obasanjo that did it. That is the simple interpretation. Then, the one that was done by Jonathan, you must kill him. That is not statesmanlike at all. It is not presidential. Corruption is corruption no matter which government.
“If Buhari should get up and say, he is probing up to General Ibrahim Babangida, we would applaud him, because Nigerians are not happy with the way so many things are going on in this country. Therefore, if Mr. President must probe, let him probe all, because when he starts discriminating in terms of probing, certainly many lawyers would rush to court and when they do that so many things would change.
“If he is going to start, let it be from 1999. If he wants to be fair, let him start from 1985. We want to know the number of oil blocks allocated and who did the allocation. How much did the beneficiaries pay? Obasanjo’s government sold 1004, where is the money? Babangida’s government did a lot of funny things. Probe all of them. You can probe oil allocation from 1985 to date, and people will applaud you.
“As we don’t have electricity and huge money was spent, you can call it a probe on electricity, and people will applaud you. But don’t tell us that all those contracts awarded by your predecessors, it is only one predecessor you want to go after. That is discriminatory. I remember Mr. President said he would be fair to all. Is it fair to select the government you will probe?
“We really need an honest approach to probe. It is like what is happening to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a governor who has no time to govern his state has the energy to go and be talking what he knows nothing about; giving judgment ahead of time."
•Photo shows Uwazurike.
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