Osita Okechukwu: Why Ndi-Igbo should be grateful to President Buhari


The Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu, has given different reasons why Southeast should be grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Mr Osita Okechukwu
Mr Osita Okechukwu

The former Spokesman of the South East All Progressives Congress (APC) Leadership Caucus, speaking with newsmen in Enugu after attending a popular radio programme, Freedom Square, rate President Buhari’s government very high following the projects Mr President has embarked on Southeast region ever since he came into the sit of power.

When asked if Ndi-Igbo should be grateful looking back at those promises the APC made to the Igbo, he said; Yes! I think so and sincerely too in the sense that if you cast your mind back, at 62 years, I have done my own analysis and prognosis.

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 I have asked myself that question: on this earth, what actually does my people the Igbo want? And I said, who are the Igbo? I reasoned: one, these are hardworking people; these are entrepreneurial people; these are people that are committed to advancing any environment they find themselves. Without prejudice to the fact that appurtenances of good offices are also good for any group, but these appointments are not as enduring as projects.

I said to myself, there was a time we had Secretary to Government of the Federation, minister in charge of the economy, finance, power etc, and no meaningful projects. If you recall, we had about seven billboards. If you cast your mind back, the billboard for Enugu is talking about coal, to revamp the coal industry. And I can say today that Mr President is about revamping the Enugu Coal to generate electricity. The last meeting held a few weeks ago in South-Africa was with a group that is interested.

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It is almost being concluded. Initially, a Chinese group came and some locals are on the wings, but Mr President asked the Minister of Mines and Steel (it used to be Solid Minerals), the former Governor of Ekiti State, John Kayode Fayemi, to do a background check because I gave him an analysis of how we have suffered in the past five or six years to revamp the Enugu Coal.

We had a very false hope when Prof Barth Nnaji who was an adviser and an author of the power sector reforms became a minister. Prof Nnaji did his best but he could not get off the ground. Luckily or incidentally, Prof Chinedu Nebo, our own brother again took over from Prof Nnaji. In that interval of years, we couldn’t lift it off the ground.

All efforts we made to remind them of the import of the project was in vain. At a certain point, I even had to write under the Freedom of Information Act, a letter to Prof Nebo, which luckily or unluckily, he did not answer. I was heading for court when his adviser, Prof Onyia insisted and said, “Osita why are you doing this to your brother?”

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I said, it seems that my brother is sleeping on the desk; that the last time I saw him, was when I saw him in the Presidential Villa preaching. I said, I respect the Almighty God, but that is not his mandate. So, what I did or what we did, because I was not alone, was that we took time to brief Mr President about the coal in Enugu.

I showed him the number plate one day we were driving together to let him know that we are answering Coal City without any block of coal being mined out of the soil and this is a wealth that can create a whole lot of employment. Luckily, on January 10, 2015 when Mr President came on a state campaign, he spent three minutes out of 10 minutes and made this promise.

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Speaking further Mr Okechukwu stated that Igbos should wait till 2023 before going for an Igbo Presidency.

According to him; My considered view is that we should this time vote for Buhari as we did to Obasanjo and Jonathan in 2019. What I am saying is that a brilliant group like the Igbo should not listen to ethnic merchants and their sentiments. There are those who harvest ethnicity.

I wrote a small pamphlet of about 20 pages. I used my town Eke as an example; that we should be pragmatic and sensible. Eke is more divided than Nigeria today. But we are of the same parentage, the same Catholic Church, the same Wawa dialect of Igbo language. If you take Eke as a case study, you won’t see religious difference, you won’t see language difference, so you must look inwards to know our challenges and problems.

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What do we need to do to harvest, to bring good people to rule the country? That is what we should be talking about. It is not about saying, we are not speaking one language; that is why we are where we are. If it is about one language, why did Enugu and Ebonyi vote against one region. Region is just close to secession, being a country. Region decentralizes or devolves powers of the central government.

In sum, Enugu State and Ebonyi for three times, voted against it. Lagos and Ogun voted against it. The whole South-South voted against it. So, why can’t we reason? Today, the PDP is failing, why will you throw you votes to PDP and APGA which belong to only two families? It is a waste of votes. That is what I am saying.


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