Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state has blasted Ndigbo over the recent appointments of president Muhammadu Buhari which some have labelled to be loop sided. Rochas Okorocha in an interview looked at the recent appointments by the President into key positions in his government which the Igbo were not represented, also saying that he shares in the sentiment of the Igbo crying out, but assured that Buhari would use other ways to compensate the Igbo.
Excerpts from an interview with a Daily Sun correspondent;
Recently, President Buhari made some key appointments, the so-called kitchen cabinets, where no Igbo got a slot. And before then, it was hoped that one of the persons in APC, a prominent Igbo son, would have been appointed into the office of SGF. And you came out to defend that appointment saying that what the Igbo need is development. Do you think the Igbo have not been shut out from the core area of the cabinet at the federal level?
Let me say to you, I share in what I call the sentiments of the Igbo. Having to look at the list of the appointees and they have not seen a face that looks like one of them from the South-east, I share the same sentiment. My statement was that the appointments made by President Buhari first, he made those appointments under his constitutional power and right.
Number two, those are his personal staff. When he appointed the service chiefs, even three of the service chiefs are from one particular zone, the North-east. It is common sense that since the problem is there, let’s use the locals to solve the problem of the locals. There is more commitment to saving your own than anyone else.
So, there is nothing wrong with the appointments. Now, chief of Staff, secretary to the government and press secretary are too personal, they are the people you meet every day; they are like your wife you have to be with every morning. So if you bring somebody that you don’t know too well, even for me here as a governor, you have to meet with persons you must have worked with before and know that they have something to offer. They can understand when you turn your eyes to give them signal. These are some of the things put into consideration when you are appointing personal staff. So, those ones are too personal. So, I don’t think Buhari will make appointments any further, ministerial appointments, board appointments and all that and an Igbo man will not be there, it is not possible.
The Igbo will get their share. And some of the appointments we lost were of the doings of our people. When I was crying like a lonely voice in the wilderness that look at where Nigeria was going none of these leaders heard me. Igbo decided to put their eggs in one basket. After all that cry, they didn’t hear me.
That is why today we don’t have a Senate president. Our son today would have been the Senate president if they didn’t do the evil they did in Orlu or in the South-east by our leaders. They made us lost the Senate president, the Speaker, the made us lost in all the key positions. So, I became helpless. I don’t have a Senator to make a Senate president. If I had a Senator, there was no way I wouldn’t have provided for Ndigbo a Senate president.
But you cannot eat your cake and have it. So, our position right now, despite the appointments Igbo will get, my appeal to the president, they should show presence in the South-east by building projects. That is the only way I can justify telling Ndigbo to support President Buhari. After all, we had a Secretary to the Government from the South-East, so many key positions from the South-east, what single project came to Igbo land for six years of the last administration?
None; so what do you want more, projects or appointments? And we are telling people to go and become ministers and SGF to bring projects. So, if that is the only reason you to have the projects, then that shouldn’t be the issue. So, that is my point before I get misunderstood.