Mixed reactions have trailed the president’s pronouncements.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused President Muhammadu Buhari of attempting to claim projects executed by previous administration headed by the opposition party .
The PDP noted that President Buhari bulged an opportunity to address salient issues confronting the country, by allegedly being evasive during the Arise interview.
“We want to inform President Buhari, since he is not always aware, that successive governments elected on the platform of the PDP built on these development plans leading to the expansion of major trunk roads across our country, railways and other legacy projects which, probably, his handlers are making him to believe are his.”
Former secretary general of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Union (NUPENG), Chief Frank Kokori, said the idea of grazing routes has been rejected by the south because it was a pre-independence arrangement, which has been overtaken by population explosion and its attendant developments.
“There has been a population explosion which has rendered that arrangement useless in the south because most of those routes in the south have been overtaken by developments,” he said.
He noted that the President’s insistence would not have any effect as the ball was in the court of the governors and their state Houses of Assembly members.
For the National Chairman, Social Democratic Party (SDP), Supo Shonibare, the president can support whatever he likes but he has no powers to regulate grazing.
He noted that the best the president could do in the circumstance is to challenge the position of the southern governors in court.
National Publicity Secretary, Middle Belt Forum, Dogo Isuwa, said the president’s statement should not be taken seriously because apart from the southern governors, Benue governor and some governors in the north have all banned open grazing.
Meanwhile, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) said the president was hypocritical and bias in mindset in respect to the South East.
According to the pro-Biafra group, the president believed that with his kinsmen occupying the military and police positions of service chiefs including all the most senior military/police high rank offices/positions, he will easily crush Biafra.
It said Buhari was merely jittery of the impending collapse of Nigeria, alleging that the Hausa would soon start their revolution of self-identities.
Reacting, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said Buhari has a choice between dialogue and waging an avoidable war against Ndigbo.
A statement by National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Alex Ogbonnia said Ohanaeze president-general andother eminent Nigerians including former president Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief Edwin Clarke, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Gen. T. Y. Danjuma, and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Senators Ike Ekweremadu and Enyinna Abaribe had urged the president to embrace the norms of democracy.
Ohanaeze recalled that Obiozor had at a world press conference in Enugu on June 4, reiterated the Igbo position that Ndigbo will not support break-up of Nigeria but Ndigbo will not be victims of Nigerian unity.
“President Buhari has a choice between dialogue on one hand and an avoidable war against the Igbo on the other. Again, history shows that our thoughts are very infinitesimal to the immutable law of the universe.”
Leading Igbo groups, the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) and Association of South East town Unions (ASETU) claimed Buhari had not repented in his avowed threat of annihilating the Igbo.
ADF advised him to play the role of a nationalist and a patriot instead of looking for excuses to play up his Fulani supremacist agenda.
On its part, ASETU said the statements from Buhari were troubling and not presidential.
Its National President, Emeka Diwe and National Secretary, Gideon Adikwuru, who addressed newsmen in Enugu, said if the injustices against Ndigbo in Nigeria were erased today, the agitations will end the next day.
In his reaction, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, expressed anger over Buhari’s description of the South East as dot in a circle.
Kanu assured him that same dot in a circle will soon join the rest of the progressive countries as Committee of nations.
Reacting in a statement through the group’s media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, Kanu: “The earth is also a dot within the galaxy. But it’s still as great a dot as Biafra shall soon be amongst the comity of nations.”