FROM: PAUL ORUDE BAUCHI
A Bauchi State-based Igbo businessman and a chieftain of the All Progressives Party (APC), Chief Mathew Osichukwu, has said that the five governors of the south east were to blame for the recent upheaval in the region that caused tension across the country.
Speaking with Saturday Sun, in Bauchi, on Friday, Osichukwu said it was regrettable that the governors condoned the activities of Nmandi Kanu’s now proscribed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) for a long time and failed to act.
He opined that the recent visit by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State to the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osibajo, was “too late because whatever he has gone to do in Abuja, those people that have been killed are not coming back to life again. Maybe he was trying to save his state from being declared a state of emergency but it is too late.”
He, however, commended some northern governors for the proactive steps they took in their various states to forestall reprisal attacks saying their actions saved lives and preserved the unity of the country.
Osichukwu said: “President Muhammadu Buhari had been warning that people who are going contrary to the law of the land should be careful.
“I apportion blame mainly on the governors of the south east. Believe me the governors of the south east were over relaxed.
“I am not against somebody who comes out to air his feelings in as much as it is within the ambit of the law it is allowed but when somebody is trying to bring in certain things that the law does not permit, it is sad”
Osichukwu recalled that the sit-at-home order by Kanu which led to so much suffering as millions were stranded as a result was undemocratic.
He continued: “For that 24 hour period of the sit at home, it sabotaged the economy. Imagine somebody carrying a lorry load of tomatoes from Plateau State going to Onitsha, or somebody bringing perishable goods to Aba from Lagos at the end of the day goods perished.
“That was unacceptable and the governors being the Chief Security Officers of their states were relaxed.
“No proper measures were taken and this metamorphosed into what we are seeing now where a lot of lives were lost. I am not happy with the way and manner our governors there were romancing the Kanu and IPOB issue because there are many ways they went out of line. Nobody is against the agitation for Biafra but he should look for it in a legal and normal way other than blocking highways and using unacceptable language”
On the issue of the south region being marginalised, he argued that the People neither’s Democratic Party 16 years rule did not make progress in terms of addressing the issues of marginalisation nor provided any meaningful development in the region.
Ozichuwku advised the people of the region to support the current administration in their own interest and approach President Buhari with “with maturity and not to start going contrary to the constitution”
He therefore called on the electorate concerning the November governorship election in Anambra State to be wise and vote for the APC governorship candidate.
He said: “When you are looking for something you have to sacrifice. By the time they vote for APC, I believe Mr President will give what belongs to Anambra to Anambra.
“We must give that support to the APC candidate, even if he fails to win in the end, the number of votes he would gather, we should be able to lobby Mr President and say these people are coming back. Our people should always remember that one good turn deserves another”