Monday, 17 October 2016


Many members of the ruling All Progressives Congress are complaining of being neglected by President Muhammadu Buhari, a state governor has said, echoing similar concerns raised by the president’s wife, Aisha, weekend.

Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, speaking to State House correspondents yesterday, also advised President Buhari not to ignore calls for cabinet reshuffle, a sentiment also being conversed especially in the social media.

Okorocha is the chairman of the forum of APC governors that also go by the name Progressives Governors’ Forum.

Aisha Buhari, in a widely publicised interview with the Hausa Service of the BBC, said APC members who worked for her husband’s election have been neglected.

She had also said the president had been hijacked by a cabal that did not work for his success.

Okorocha, while reacting yesterday to the calls by some people that Buhari should re-jig his cabinet in view of his wife’s comment, said: “Quite frankly, I’m a governor and I know where the shoe pinches more.

“...If there is a clarion call for Mr. President to take a look at his cabinet and bring in more people, there is nothing wrong.

“...If everyone keeps saying the same thing, there may be sense in what they’re saying.
“But that’s not really the situation that would create for a big hullabaloo.”

He added: “Most people of the party felt that they have not been carried along. I know that many of them complain every day. They want board appointments released so that there will be calm.
“The people from the southeast said they have not been appointed; the people from the northeast and even from the northwest where Mr. President comes from said that have not been appointed.
“Some local governments and villages are saying they have not been remembered. So, at what point do we draw this line?

“But there is always room for amendment because there is no perfection.”

Asked to react to the comments by the president’s wife, Okorocha stressed that Mrs Buhari did not intend to bring down her husband’s government.

“... I was there (in Germany) when Mr. President made the comment. I think both the interview and the comment were taken out of context.

“I can understand why the international community speaks on this matter because of human rights and all that’s going on around the whole world.

“I tend to believe that Nigerians should understand this matter, because I don’t think those were the intentions as being described in social media and those condemning the act. I can put it this way that it’s a joke taken too far outside the shores of Nigeria.

“If you’ve been with the president and where he cracks jokes, you’d understand that it could be his style of jokes because even when he was responding (to Aisha’s interview), he was smiling.
“I don’t think the meaning given to it is what it is. If not, why would he have his five daughters having masters and PhD and his wife educated and putting women in key positions in the country?

“I don’t think it is. Aisha Buhari who granted the interview didn’t give that interview to bring down her husband’s government. She was only trying to make peace among perceived aggrieved members in the polity.

“I have situations where my wife joins commissioners and my workers to condemn what I do.
“That does not mean she is fighting me, rather a bridge of peace between me and them.”

He said further, “ I’d have loved to make further comments if I do not see President Buhari and his wife having nice time ... but I’m sure that as we’re hitting our heads with each other on what they’ve said, they’re there having their nice time.”

He said Nigerians, irrespective of political party, religion or culture, must come together to build Nigeria of their hope and aspiration.

“This is what we must emphasise at this time, and we don’t need any form of distraction whatsoever.

“We should support President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve these three key things--economy, security and power and fight against corruption so that we can make headway. I think we’re beginning to see light at the dark end of the tunnel.”

The governor also debunked the allegation by a Second Republic legislator, Junaid Mohammed, that Buhari’s recent trip to Germany was for medical reasons.

Okorocha, who was among those that accompanied Buhari on his three-day visit to Germany, stated: “At least, I was with him till 1.00 am after dinner before I left him and he went to bed and I went to bed.

“The following day, I came to see him in the morning. The president didn’t go for any medial trip at all. The hospital we went to was to see an army general who had an accident. These are some of the things on which people make uninformed comments, and I do not know why people in this part of our world are always happy when somebody is going down.

“There’s need to change our attitude completely. If the issue was the one that had to do with how to move Nigeria forward, nobody would make comments or talk about it; but once it’s anything perceived to be in the negative, Nigerians are awake.

We must change our attitude and see how we can build this nation. If Nigeria is succeeding, it’s not Buhari that’s succeeding, it’s Nigeria that’s succeeding. If Nigeria fails, it’s not Buhari that has failed, it’s Nigeria that has failed. So, we must support him to succeed so that all of us can succeed. I’m not aware that President Buhari went for any medical visit.”

Source:Daily Trust Newspaper

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