The Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu on Sunday expressed optimism about President Muhammadu’s visit to the South-East this week.
This is also as he tasked the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo over an additional state for the South-East.
He told journalists in Enugu that Buhari was on a mission to return South-East to the mainstream of Nigeria’s political landscape.
President Buhari is expected in the South-East this week, the first time since he assumed office as President on May 29, 2015.
Asked what he thinks will be the takeaway for the South East from President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the region this week, Mr. Okechukwu, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress and an ardent supporter of Mr. President from the region, said that Hon. Tony Nwoye of APC in this Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra State, would be the fastest trunk to the return of Ndigbo to the national grid of Nigeria’s political landscape.
“Let me start by saying that I didn’t discuss with President Muhammadu Buhari on the specifics of his mission to the South East.
“However, methinks that Mr. President wants to return the South East to the mainstream of Nigeria’s political landscape. He wants to fill the void left by Ndigbo on the tripod on which Nigeria politics rest.
“This is by halting the lamentation arising from the marginalization of my people. He already has started by his elaborate plan to provide critical infrastructure – power, water, railway system and other physical and social infrastructure.
“He has paid in N14 billion and has additional N10 billion for 2nd Niger Bridge, N16.7 billion for Enugu-Onitsha and Enugu-Port Harcourt highways. Don’t forget that the revamping of Enugu Coal has left the pipeline. It will soon commence.”
On whether it was only through projects that Buhari will return Ndigbo into the mainstream, he added: “No, far from it, but recall that these projects were abandoned in the era of squandermania, which characterized the 16 years of Peoples Democratic Party’s rule. We cannot dismiss the goodwill Buhari demonstrated by paying the pension arrears of Biafra Policemen. A debt long abandoned by successive PDP regimes.”
He, however, advised the Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership to consult as quickly as possible to present Mr. President with their choice additional State, for South East.
Okechukwu recalled that in the penultimate week visit of Igbo leadership to Aso Villa, Buhari challenged Ndigbo to submit one name for him to appeal and lobby other geopolitical zones to approve additional State for the South East.
“It seems Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership is glossing over this very crucial State matter which popped up during the meeting.
“To me no harm in trail, as Buhari commands tremendous respect across all the geopolitical zones. He can lobby for South East, based on equity and justice.
“Compatriots, we must not as well gloss over the truism that the re-election of Buhari in 2019, is the surest bet for election of Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
“Going by the subsisting zoning or rotation convention, after Buhari the presidency goes South and within the South our brothers in the South West and South South had a taste of the pie. Accordingly based on equity and justice we stand a good chance, especially if we support President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
“Lastly, the election of Hon Tony Nwoye as said before will be the fastest trunk to the return of our people to the national grid. One therefore appeals to Ndi-Anambra to throw sentiments away, as APGA is a big contradiction and should be voted out, more so when His Excellency, Governor Willy Obiano, played the folklore Blind Man role.”