Few weeks before the last presidential election, the media team of People’s Democratic Party, PDP, undertook a tour of the South East and briefed the press at Umuahia, Abia State capital.
The essence of the tour and the media briefings that accompanied it, according Femi Fani Kayode, the head of the media team, was to consult with the stakeholders in Igbo land and do a critical expose on the person of General Muhammadu buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“Gentlemen of the media, we are in Umuahia to look into a very touching and mind boggling issue. We came into this beautiful city last night after a tour of some states in the Eastern region for the past three days. During our tour we met with some key Igbo leaders. We attended caucus meetings with them and the questions centered on the role of General Muhammadu Buhari played in the very sad events in our country of January 1966,when a coup d’état took place in our country and when no less than 300 Igbo officers were killed,” the statement by the media team reads.
While the team demanded an explanation from Buhari on the pogrom in the North in which thousands of Igbo were massacred, it wondered why the retired General, instead of honoring Oputa panel’s invitation, which could have afforded him the ample opportunity to clear himself of those grave allegations, resorted to court injunction which restrained the panel from compelling him to appear before it to proffer answers to the above allegations.
Before now, majority feelings portray President Buhari as an unrepentant ethnic chauvinist. Recent happenings, especially the president’s appointments which is brazenly skewed to the north, tend to prove Buhari’s critics, especially the PDP right.
Since the appointments, that is currently generating bad blood among the regions in the South, especially the South East, supporters of the president have thrown some flawed arguments to back and justify his actions.
Part of the argument hinges on competence and the inability of the South East region to vote for President Buhari.
On the argument of competence as the basis to justify the
president’s action to concentrate his appointment from one section of the country, chapter, 14(3) of the Constitution roundly invalidates the argument. “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of the agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or any of its agencies”.
The same constitution stipulates that national integration shall be actively encouraged, whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited.
Unless President Muhammadu Buhari convinces us that he has suspended part or the whole of the Constitution would make some Nigerians not to question his skewed appointments, if not, those who are questioning the appointments deserve every right to do so.
The argument on which region voted or did not vote for Buhari does not deserve attention here. Immediately he was voted into power, he becomes the president of Nigeria and should see the entire Nigeria as his constituency.
President Buhari’s government is facing some legitimacy challenges and ought to have undertaken serious legitimacy engineering to attract acceptability from majority of Nigerians. His actions are deepening the reservation some Nigerians have on him.
The polity is in a very fragile state and anything that would encourage disaffection should not be encouraged, even in its barest minimum.
Mr. President, the time to prove to Nigerians that you are not an ethnic chauvinist is now.


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