January 20, 2017

Ohanaeze laments low representation of Igbo in federal cabinet


By Emeka Mamah

Enugu—The President  General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo yesterday lamented over  what he described as “abysmal representation of Igbo in the current Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that the number of Ndigbo in the government  “falls extremely short of the constitutional provisions for the reflection of federal character in the appointment into important government positions.”

Nwodo spoke at the first meeting of the National Executive Committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Enugu yesterday.

“No arm of government  namely, the Executive, Judiciary or Legislature is headed by an Igbo. No section of the Armed Forces or paramilitary organisation is headed by an Igbo. Neither the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal nor the Federal High Court is headed by an Igbo.

“We know in the history of this country when a Lieutenant Colonel was appointed to the position of Chief of General Staff over and above his superiors just to ensure ethnic balance. We know when a Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation was appointed Chief Justice of Nigeria was to ensure ethnic balance. We know when a former Military Head of State was drafted to run for president was to douse ethnic tensions.

“What is very perturbing is the public declaration of Mr President that his appointments must favour the states that voted overwhelmingly for him and those he trusts even against the provisions of our constitution relating to federal character. One is at sea why Ndigbo who campaigned and voted for him appear not to be trusted.

“No wonder, the ministers with lean capital votes are the ones assigned to Ndigbo. No wonder, he nominated ambassadors for confirmation to the National Assembly naming three ambassadors for some states and only one ambassador for each of the Igbo states. No wonder, one year and eight months into his tenure as President, he has not visited any Igbo state.”

Nwodo, however asked Ndigbo to stop their on-going lamentations over marginalisation by other Nigerians even as he likened the country to the George Orwellian Animal Farm where all animals are equal but some are more equal than the others.

He however, nonetheless, extended the hands of fellowship of Ohanaeze to President Buhari, saying that he would like to visit him with his exco members to ensure that Igbo marginalisation was brought to an end.

On MASSOB and IPOB, Nwodo said he will soon meet with the groups in a bid to agree on the best way forward for Ndigbo.

“This brings me to the rise of MASSOB and IPOB. Both organisations no matter how divided they appear in public are basically motivated by the same sense of outrage and bitterness. Our young men and women can not tolerate a second class status in their country.”