Elder statesman, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has said that the Igbo nation does not hate President Muhammadu Buhari as portrayed but merely seek to be treated fairly in the country they call their own.
He noted that it was not in the character of the Igbo man to hate fellow countrymen no matter where they come from because the Igbo man would naturally settle in any part of the country and thrive there without fear or bias.
He said: “I am presently the oldest active Igbo politician and I am not partisan to the extent that I am ignorant or blind to the truths on ground.
“For instance; no matter the inherent flaws in execution, nobody will convince me that Buhari is not fighting corruption. Nobody can also convince me that Buhari as a person is corrupt.
“He always thinks the Igbo man hates him. To the contrary, we regard him strongly. Some people give him the wrong impression about Ndigbo but the only thing we want is to be given our due as Nigerians.
“We are the highest catalysts of development in this country; we develop wherever we live – East, West, North or South.”
Iwuanyanwu made the statements while receiving Emir Aminu Bayero, the Emir of Bichi, and the son of the late Emir Ado Bayero of Kano, in Owerri on Saturday.
He noted that it was impossible to talk about the history of Nigeria without mentioning the Kano Emirate especially under the late Emir Ado Bayero.
He said: “When Igbos were being killed in the North and nowhere was safe for the Igbo man; but Emir Ado Bayero stood strong for the Igbo nation.
“At a time, he was the only voice in the north strongly speaking up against the killing of the Igbos at the time.
“Many Igbos sought and found sanctuary in his home. Under his watch, the properties of Igbo men were secure. He was a dear friend. Whenever he visited Imo, he insisted on staying in my home and never stayed in the government lodge.”
“Kano gave me the biggest support in all of the north when I ran for the presidency of the country. We built wonderful friendship until he died. If it was possible to make recommendations to God, I would recommend that Ado Bayero should not die.
“He saved lives. That is why I am one of those that believe that this country should continue to be one country.”