A prominent pro-Buhari ex-militant leader, Israel Akpodoro has lamented the fate of Niger Delta youths, particularly the ex-militants who inspite of the risk of being hated by their own people supported President Muhammadu Buhari before, during and after the general elections last year.
Akpodoro, who is the National President, National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators ,NCNDE-A, revealed that the wife of the President Mrs Aisha Buhari, however spoke his mind in her interview with the BBC Hausa service.
The First Lady had expressed worry over those appointed to positions by the current administration led by her husband noting that; “95% of those appointed by the current administration are not known to the president, many of them didn’t vote for the All Progressives Congress ,APC, during elections while a large number of them don’t even have voters’ card.”
He noted that the First Lady’s statement is: “stating the obvious” adding that the cabal who caged the President were bent on destroying his popularity and political relevance stressing further that the ‘Change’ campaign slogan was what spurred people into voting massively for the then APC presidential candidate expressing regret that members of the ousted Peoples Democratic Party, who were supposedly subjects of change were given appointment in lieu of those who fought for the enthronement of the APC government.
The realities on ground he said betrays the youth of Niger Delta region who he mobilised, spent with his life savings to ensure that Buhari became Nigeria’s president adding that rather than empower them in government patronage and appointment, Buhari gave all federal appointments to unknown persons who played no role in his emergence.
He stressed further that in another breath, the president appointed members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party ,PDP, to positions in an inexplicable manner strange to “our politics. If they were good as PDP members, why did we change them?” A visibly furious Akpodoro querried saying; “It is not common among women in corridors of power who will be bold to grant such interview like Mrs Buhari did.”
The Urhobo-born, die-hard Buhari supporter said with the way the president was going, it will be difficult to trust and work with one’s resources for anyone in future.” He questioned the rationale behind the appointment of PDP stalwarts leaving credible core APC members in poverty and oblivion noting that the president has betrayed the trust and confidence of Nigerians who worked for him.
“Expectations are high from those we used to work for the President but he seems not interested in empowering us so that such benefits could trickle down to our followers. As an APC leader, I hide from the boys I mobilised for the president’s election because we promised them that as soon as the president comes on board he would empower us but today, we have nothing to show for the massive support and solidarity we gave to President Buhari.
“The appointments he supposed to give to APC leaders were given to members of the opposition PDP while the few given to members of the ruling party were to wrong persons. This kind of arrangement is alien to our politics and it is bad in natural justice.” He stated that all hope was not lost because; “For those of us who believe in another day, tomorrow will always come. We wont despair, we will sustain the pressure and pray God touches his heart.”