Fred Itua, Abuja
Members of the South East Senate Caucus, on Wednesday, said the scathing remarks of former President Olusegun Obasanjo about President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration are clear vindications of their position on the lopsided nature of the Federal Government.
The caucus which said what is happening is not new, noted that it had labeled Nigeria “Buhari’s country”, following president’s line of appointments.
Leader of the caucus, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who spoke in Abuja, said they had warned against the danger of “the nepotic nature of the administration, but unfortunately many Nigerians looked the other way.”
Abaribe said the caucus made it clear that “twenty years is not eternity, that the government will come to an end one day and with every indication the government has come to end.”
The Abia South senator insisted that “what is happening, what former President Obasanjo said, is what we have said and predicted long ago.”
He reiterated that “no one should be surprised over what is happening or the shape of the political appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“To be fair to him, the president made himself clear during his state visit to the United States of America, with his now unfortunate theory of 95 percent and 5 percent reward for support.
“The whole thing has come to bear negatively on the entire country and every body is now shouting but we predicted what is going on.”
Abaribe noted that they also said “it could be the style of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). That is to say, that the party may have chosen as a style, to run a government that encourages alienation of a sizeable portion of its people, as well as one that promotes exclusivity.
“Every political party has its style, like the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that adopted its own style of running an inclusive national government, which reflected the true character and national outlook of the Nigerian people. PDP’s style was inclusivity not minding the voting pattern of any section of the country or where its support base was derived.
“For any party, there should not be any political barrier or alienation of any constituent part, because after elections the President is the President and father of all Nigerians irrespective of political leaning.
“My hunch is that the appointments so far, which has surreptitiously thrown up the prevailing circumstance, has failed to encourage our people’s hunger and quest to build a nation state out of a heterogeneous Nigeria. The appointments as it were do not also support the effort to weave a more cohesive country that would metamorphose into a nation where unity and love will prevail.
“The founding fathers of our nation had this in mind when the notion of “Federal Character” was inscribed in the constitution and a commission created for that purpose. That a President of elder statesman status would willfully breach this fibre that holds this country together is highly regrettable.
“Well, my take is that, ‘it is a Buhari country’, it is the reality, so he can play around with his choice as his mind and conscience directs him. After all he did not win election in the South East and South-South and yet he became President, therefore, the South should be orphaned for not voting for him. Perhaps that is the stark reality that the people of the South in Nigeria should face.
“There is an idiom in Igbo language that “20 years or more is not eternity”. The Buhari government will also come to an end one day.
“Nonetheless, it could have been good and politically expedient if President Buhari sees himself as President of Nigeria, which is the hallmark of a statesman and not that of President of a section of the country.”
Abaribe said the caucus decided to reiterate what it said to show that it predicted what is happening in the country today.