Buhari Plans A Waltz With Hostile South-East In Bid To Woo Region

The Oasis Reporters

November 3, 2017

President Muhammadu Buhari, Sir Ahmadu Bello : Miles apart in diplomatic offensive.

Months after the Army’s Operation Crocodile Smile and Python Dance engagements in the south south and south east, President Muhammadu Buhari will begin a tour of southeastern Nigeria where his favourability numbers and that of his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, are very low especially as the 2019 general elections nears, and with the Anambra State election coming up in two weeks time.

The south east is home to the Igbo speaking people who are enamored with the Biafra movement, a break away agitation to separate from the rest of the country.

Mr. Rochas Okorocha, Imo State Governor and Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum made the announcement in Abuja on Thursday when he spoke to State House correspondents after meeting with the president.

Okorocha said the president will begin his tour of the region from Ebonyi State.

“The South-East before now was not measuring up to standard in the APC but we have worked out strategies and modalities on how to improve relationship between the people of the South-East and the APC government.

“That was top on the agenda and the need for Mr. President to come to the South-East as quickly as possible to begin to show his presence. Luckily, the President will be coming to Ebonyi State very soon and he will pass through Imo State to Anambra State.

“So, covering three states within this short time will be the right step in the right direction because we have come to realise in the South-East that we are better off in APC than any other party in the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the governor said.

Series of miss-steps by President Muhammadu Buhari helped in no small measure to alienate and widen the gulf between him and the south east. He was He was pointedly blunt and frank when he said the 5% regions that did not vote for him will not be favorably treated like the regions that gave him more votes, calling it a reality. Even after assuming office over two years ago, he has unfairly appointed more of his kinsmen to positions in government while discriminating against the Igbos and Niger deltans.

Elderly Igbos who knew Nigeria well after independence recall with nostalgia, Premier of Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello’s Christmas message in 1959, concluding that Sir Ahmadu Bello, also a fellow Fulani like Buhari was a better consensus builder than Buhari :

Ahmadu Bello’s Christmas Message :

“We are people of many different races, tribes and religions, who are knit together by common history, common interests and common ideals. Our diversity may be great but the things that unite us are stronger than the things that divide us. On an occasion like this, I always remind people about our firmly rooted policy on religious tolerance. Families of all creeds and colour can rely on these assurances. We have no intention of favouring one religion at the expense of another. Subject to overriding need to preserve law and order, it is our determination that everyone should have absolute liberty to practise his beliefs.

It is befitting on this momentous day, on behalf of my ministers and myself, to send a special word of gratitude to all Christian missions. Let me conclude this with a personal message.
I extend my greetings to all our people who are christians on this great feast day.
Let us forget the difference in our religion and remember the common brotherhood before God, by dedicating ourselves afresh to the great tasks which lie before us.”

Refreshing difference, wouldn’t you rather say?

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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