By Nwabueze Okonkwo
Notable Igbo leaders, including retired army generals, led by the former President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Dozie Ikedife, have appealed to the president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to give Ndigbo their pride of place in his in-coming administration, not minding that Ndigbo did not give him massive vote during the just concluded presidential election.
The leaders, who made the appeal during a private visit to Buhari, confessed that the people of the South-East voted heavily for the PDP and not very much for the APC, thereby creating the impression that the president-elect was not supported by the Igbo.
Disclosing this to newsmen at his Nnewi home, yesterday, Ikedife declared: “Our private visit to the president-elect was to let him know that he is the president for all and that he has to accommodate people from the South-East in his administration, whether they voted for him or not, afterall, Ndigbo are not saying that he did not win the election”.
Ikedife noted that the purpose of the visit was to appeal to Buhari not to leave the Igbo in the cold in his appointments and infrastructural development because of the low support he received from the South-East during the presidential election.
“We have people who are capable, qualified, hardworking and technocrats who can work with him in Igbo land. We have people like the former Governor of Abia State, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, very brilliant and very respectful. We have Oscar Udoji and other people of high integrity and dedicated politicians like Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige. And there are people who worked tirelessly for the APC to win in the South East, people who did not vie for any elective position, no matter the low number of votes they attracted because of the overwhelming South East support for the PDP. It is important that these people should be accommodated”, the Igbo leader said.
He noted that while it was a known fact that the National Executive Council, NEC, of the APC had done its zoning as to who got what, the Igbo should be well accommodated and not to be left to pick the crumbs.
Ikedife explained that personally he was too old to be given any strainous appointment and that he could only play on the win. He said all was to protect the interest of the Igbo as an Igbo leader.
On Buhari’s reaction to their request, he said the president-elect was friendly and appreciated the visit but did not say outright that he was going to grant the request or not “since we did not sign any contract with him.”