A former Governor of Anambra State in the defunct Third Republic, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of Dr. Ibe Kachikwu to head the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was not enough to satisfy the South-East.
The President had on Tuesday relieved Dr. Joseph Dawha of his appointment as the Group Managing Director of the NNPC and appointed Kachikwu to replace him.
The new NNPC’s GMD is from the Igbo-speaking part of Delta State.
But in an interview with Punch Newspaper on Saturday, Ezeife insisted that the appointment did not undo the alleged lopsidedness of President Buhari’s appointments so far.
He said, “It is not atonement for the many neglects and insults that have happened with the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and other agencies. How would a President appoint people into key positions in Nigeria, yet none of them is Igbo? What kind of thing is that?
“On merit, we have the best people in Nigeria and that is not boasting. On motivation, it is the same thing. If Buhari wants to ignore federal character, we are not begging him for any appointment.
“And it is good for us to know where we belong and make appropriate adjustments. It is not a matter of whether Nigeria appreciates us or not. If they think we have done enough and we should go, there is more where what we brought to Nigeria came from. It came from God and we are not going to throw it away. If we go away, we leave with it. We like Nigeria, but one cannot insult and treat a group as if they don’t exist.”
The Igbo leader also described as unfortunate the ethnic segregation in the country. According to him, if a person from one region disagrees with another, there should be a less vindictive way of expressing it.
The elder statesman further decried the development in the House of Representatives, where every region except the South-East got a principal position.
“I have found that only a very insignificant minority of the Igbo people are saying that they have packed all their eggs in one basket; voting or no voting for any person has not been of consequence to our people. They went for elections and voted as they should and they are proud of it; they can repeat same tomorrow,” he added.