Nigeria’s Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, was the convocation lecturer at the 12th convocation of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, on Wednesday. He managed to turn his lecture on “The Igbo in the politics of Nigeria” into an overt campaign for the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Amaechi advised Igbos to support Buhari for second term so that he could serve out the term of the North and then make way for an Igbo president in 2023.
“Buhari has done a lot for the Igbos”
“We must tell ourselves the truth about what Buhari has done. You (Igbos) did not vote for Buhari, true or false? You voted for PDP and what did they do for you? PDP abandoned the Enugu-Onitsha expressway since 1999, but Buhari is working on it with despatch, true or false?” Amaechi said.
“Buhari is working on the second Niger Bridge, he is working on the Otuocha-Ibaji-Abuja road, he is working on the Abakaliki-Onueke road, he is working on the Oji-Achi-Naku road in Enugu State, he is working on Ozalla-Akpugo-Amagunze road. He is also working on Aba-Ikot Ekpene road. Under Buhari, all major cities of the south east are captured in the existing railway project. Name one government that has done up to this within two years. Our problem is that we are just being emotional,” the minister said.
“APC is the only national party”
Amaechi dismissed both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which controls most states in the South East, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) which controls Anambra, where the university is located, as sectional parties. He called on the Igbos to move into a national party after having been disappointed by sectional parties.
Amaechi was not allowed to completely have his way at the event.
The President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr Nnia Nwodo who was also a guest at the lecture, rebutted some of the minister’s claims and advised the federal government to treat all Nigerians as equal irrespective of whether they gave their votes to the APC or not.
“I am yet to see a federation in which the security apparatus is domiciled in one section of the country. Doing so has not also solved the security problems of the country.
“Our country is in a state of war, with no one declaring it. I refuse to agree with you that people should join a federal movement as you said. If our constitution is not revisited for people to live and feel safe, then we are wasting our time.
“Honourable minister, I urge you to fight for us. We are the true Nigerians. Whether we voted left or right, our behavioural pattern has shown confidence in Nigeria.
“Help us talk to your people and make them understand that whatever views they held during the war, tell them that the war is over,” Nwodo said.