By Chidi Nkwopara
IT has been shock and surprises for Imo people since President Muhammadu Buhari came on board in the past 100 days.
Most respondents, who reacted to the developments within the past 100 days of the Buhari administration, were of the view that “the President has been implementing a carefully planned programme of exclusion of the South East geo-political zone”.
They were shocked that President Buhari did not appoint an Igbo man as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“Before the current announcement of Buhari’s appointees, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and Senator Chris Ngige were widely tipped for the post. The speculation went haywire when the post was said to have been zoned to the South East”, Sir Murphy Emeto said.
Continuing, Sir Emeto said that seeing things now on the ground so far, the Igbo have no place in this administration because he said that he would compensate the political zone that gave him 97 per cent instead of those that gave him a paltry five percent.
While agreeing that it is the prerogative of the President to appoint members of his kitchen cabinet, Emeto said he should realize that Nigeria is one country and should remain one.
For an Owerri based legal practitioner, Chief Uche Ohia, President Buhari has confounded and proved political bookmakers, including his apologists wrong, in his choice of individuals to work in various critical positions.
According to Chief Ohia, “the appointments seem deliberately skewed to exclude the South East zone and Ndigbo”.
One other sore issue that has pained Imo people is the planned downgrading of Alvan Ikoku University of Education, Owerri, to its former status of a College of Education.
“We expected President Buhari to find ways of implementing the lofty policy of the upgrade of the institution to the status of a University. Downgrading the institution is another direct way of mortgaging educational development of the South East”, Lolo Nkechi Aladu fumed.
Some civil servants, who, however, spoke on strict grounds of anonymity, lamented that President Buhari has busied himself trying to demonize his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and his former aides, while workers and pensioners continue to wallow in poverty, disease and avoidable death.
“Virtually all the projects started by Dr. Jonathan have been stalled since President Buhari came on board. The roads are getting worse everyday. The earlier the President realizes that he is not a saint the better for Nigeria and its citizens,” a civil servant cautioned.
A loyalist of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who pleaded anonymity, expressed regret that sycophants were gradually taking over the Aso Rock, stressing that except the needful were done, and quickly too, the country may sadly find her way to another round of retrogression.
A former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Imo State, Dr. Kelechi Okpalaeke, who recently decamped from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to APC, had this to say in reply to Vanguard’s inquiry: “Are Igbo winning in this dispensation? My brother the answer to this your question lies in the yardstick that one employs in measuring winning. If the yardstick is personal appointment then the answer is no”.
While saying that personal appointments have only led to loss of internally generated revenue to the states of Igboland, Dr. Okpalaeke, however, pleaded that “we have to wait until the President forms his government before we can really evaluate and make an intelligent conclusion as to the question you posed”.