The All Progressives Congress in the South-East on Friday said the appointment of Dr. Ibe Kachikwu as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had shown that President Muhammadu Buhari does not bear any grudge against the Igbos.
Buhari got few votes in the South-East during the elections and there are insinuations that the President would sideline the Igbos as a result of the development.
The insinuations were further strengthened by reports quoting Buhari as saying, during his recent visit to the United States, that he would not give equal treatment to those that did not vote for him.
However, the South-East chapter of the APC said Buhari would give all sections of the country equal treatment.
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, it maintained that Kachikwu’s appointment, and some other recent decisions taken by Buhari, had vindicated its belief that the President would not marginalise the Igbos.
“The appointment of Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and Engr. Dennis Ajulu as Group Managing Director, and Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production of the NNPC, respectively, and enlistment of Enugu Airport among those to be upgraded, are clear indication and demonstration that Mr. President bears no grudge against Ndigbo for not voting for him.
“South-East Zone of the All Progressives Congress salutes President Muhammadu Buhari for vindicating its position that every region of the country under his watch would receive equal and fair treatment,” Okechukwu said.
Okechukwu recalled that the South-East APC had earlier issued statements assuring Ndigbo that Buhari would not marginalise them for not voting for him.
He therefore urged Ndigbo to disregard “gossip-terrorists and ethnic merchants who peddle the falsehood that President Buhari hates Ndigbo.”
Okechukwu noted that Buhari had, in the course of his presidential campaign, held various meetings with Igbo leaders, where he (Buhari) promised to address the problem of the Igbos.
He added that Buhari addressed a letter dated November 7, 2014, to leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the foremost socio-political body of the Igbos.
According to Okechukwu, parts of the said letter read, “Since I cannot assume to know all the pressing issues facing Ndigbo or what Ndigbo expect of the new Nigeria we wish to build; I would greatly appreciate if you could kindly arrange a consultative meeting with Ohaneze Ndigbo where we could discuss and try to determine how this could best be done.
“I considered it pertinent to hold consultations with all communities nationwide in order to build a mutually acceptable national consensus. Needless to add, no national consultation will be complete or meaningful without a meeting with the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo.”
Okechukwu also expressed the belief of the South-East APC in Buhari’s inaugural address, particularly where the President said he “he belongs to everybody.”
“He (Buhari) doesn’t take prisoners, his word is his bond,” Okechukwu added, stressing that the President’s “rapid response to implement the United Nations Environment Programme Report, which recommended the cleansing of hazardous Oil polluted Ogoni land, almost consigned to the dustbin of history by the previous regime, couldn’t have attracted his attention, if otherwise.”
Okechukwu, however, noted that like Oliver Twist, the South-East APC is appealing to Buhari to take note of the dilapidated federal roads in the geopolitical zone, Second Niger Bridge, revamping of Enugu Coal, resolution of the tangle between Geometric Power and Interstate Electric in Aba, among others.