Buhari has been unfair to Ndigbo – APC chieftain

A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief Anselm Njoku has noted that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has been unfair to Ndigbo in the area of appointments and called on the President to be more pro-Nigeria instead of sectional.

Njoku who is the chairman, South East APC Forum, Lagos as well as the Chairman, Ndigbo United Association, an apex political pressure group of Ndigbo in the state, stated this in a chat with Obinna Ezugwu.

He said: “Obviously, I am not satisfied with his (Buhari) treatment of Ndigbo, I am in fact, disappointed in the absolute neglect of Ndigbo in this government,” he said

“The Igbo have not got a share, not to talk of fair share. There is no share for Ndigbo in this government because this government is exclusively run by few selected people who I don’t know how the President picked. The Igbo are completely out.”

Reacting to the ongoing pro-Biafra agitation in the South East, Chief Njoku said that Ndigbo has genuine reasons to agitate and advised Buhari to dialogue with IPOB and MASSOB members instead of killing them.

“I have consistently asked the President to please release Nnamdi Kanu and call the leadership of IPOB and other Igbo leaders for a dialogue on this issue of Biafra agitation. Find out why they are agitating and what can be done to stop it. I am not in support that Biafra should go now, but I cannot tell you that the agitators are hopeless people.

“They’re not, they are true Nigerians, in fact, most of them are people who wish Nigeria well. I can agitate, yes, let us go, but I am not necessarily saying that we should go. Why am I now saying let us go if I am not saying we should go? I am saying let us go because the Nigerian nation has neglected us, they don’t see us as a part of the country. What makes Ndigbo part of this country? Let me tell you, we have 36 states in Nigeria plus Abuja, making it 37, and we have six geopolitical zones. The Igbo have only five states out of the 37, while some others have six or seven. That is marginalization. Yet, states are indices for revenue allocation. The two more states that ought to have come from the South East and the revenue, tell me how much it would have been.

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“Again, we have 774 local governments in this country, if you divide that number by six zones, it will give you 129. Each zone will have 129 local governments, but Ndigbo has only 95 out of 774, and there are six zones. Remove 94 from 129 that we ought to have, it is 37 local governments lost. Yet, local government is one of the indices for revenue allocation in this country. Is it fair? We have 360 members of the House of Representatives, if there is equity, each zone should produce 60. How many do we have in the South East?  A little over 30. And this is a house where the fate of every Nigerian is determined. In that house, Ndigbo are non-sequitur, they are inconsequential.

“Some other zones have twice what we have. So when people agitate, why should you go and kill them for agitating? Then you come to the Senate, we have 109 senators. How many does the Igbo have? Only 15. If you look at the population of Ndigbo in this country, there is no doubt that Ndigbo are the most populous because they are mobile, they move around. If you go to Kano, you see plenty of Ndigbo, same as Katsina and every nook and cranny of this country. Because they believe in one Nigeria, there is no other ethnic group that believe in one Nigeria more than the Igbo. An Igbo man will go to an interior Hausa village and build a house, they will go to remote parts of other zones and build their houses and take it as home. When you build a house in a place, you take it as home. Are you going to do anything that would destroy that place? The answer is no. But Ndigbo are completely shut out in the governance of the country, and it is worse in this particular government, even in appointments. It is a very bad omen.

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“The government should dialogue with the people, dialogue with the leaders, find out why the agitation. You will discover that the Igbo man does not want to secede and does not want to fight a war. They have fought a war, they know what it is, they don’t want to fight again, but at the same time, they don’t want to continue to be in the doldrums in a country that they have contributed immensely to its progress and development. So, the Igbo agitators should not be taken as enemies of the country, there ought to be a negotiation. I can bet that if there is a true negotiation, there will be truce. These things will fizzle out.