Aloysius Attah and Jeff Amaechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Traditional rulers in Anambra State have decried the alleged marginalisation of Ndigbo by President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC-led Federal government.
At a session with the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his entourage at the Imeobi Palace of the Obi of Onitsha with traditional rulers, town union presidents and religious leaders while on a campaign tour to Anambra State, Igwe Chuma Onyia who spoke on behalf of the traditional rulers told Atiku that the Igbo are not happy with the way things are going in the country at the moment.
Igwe Onyia who is the Deputy Chairman, Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers and the monarch of Odekpe community in Ogbaru LGA, said the Buhari administration has neglected the Igbo both in strategic political appointments and in the provision of infrastructure.
He said he had the mandate of the traditional rulers to ask for Atiku’s commitment to his promises of restructuring and also making Onitsha River Port functional, dredging of the River Niger, completion of the second Niger Bridge among others if he eventually wins the presidential election.
He described Atiku not only as an in-law to the Onitsha people but a good friend of the Igbo, assuring him that his victory in the presidential election would also be a victory for the Igbo.
Earlier, while welcoming Atiku, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, read out text messages he sent out to Governor Obiano intimating him of the proposed meeting of traditional rulers with Atiku. But surprisingly, Obi Achebe said he later received another text message from the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy matters telling him that the governor had fixed a meeting same day with the traditional rulers at the Government House in Awka.
He told Atiku that the number of traditional rulers that made themselves available to meet with him were those who decided not to honour the impromptu meeting in Awka.
National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, in a remark described Atiku as Nigeria’s president-in-waiting. He said the country is at crossroads presently because of the APC-led government and said Atiku is the best to rescue Nigeria from imminent collapse.
Atiku in a brief response thanked the royal fathers for honouring the invitation, describing Onitsha as his second home. He delegated one of the presidential campaign spokesperson, Chief Osita Chidoka, to respond to the royal fathers’ request.
Chidoka in his response, said Atiku and Obi possess the requisite credentials to return the country to the path of progress once more and assured that all they requested for would be granted if Atiku wins. He said that in 2015, many Nigerians that mattered stood out and ensured that Buhari defeated Jonathan to become president but those Nigerians today have deserted Buhari for failing to bring the much-anticipated change. He enjoined the Igbo to get on board the moving train so that they would not arrive late at the destination.
“Today, Obasanjo is here, Saraki, Danjuma, Babangida, Dogara and all others are here seeking to enthrone a new order for the good of the country through Atiku and Obi. More so, Peter Obi is our son, so let no one do anything that will harm him. The party is about to kick off and I urge Ndigbo not to come late to this party. Let us be wise,” he said.