Leaders of foremost Igbo socio-political body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and Njiko Igbo, another prominent pan-Igbo association, have said that President Muhammadu Buhari intentionally relegated Igbo ministers to the background in his cabinet by denying them “juicy” ministries.
Opinion leaders and socio-political associations in the South- East described the portfolios assigned to Igbo ministers as ‘disappointing’, Punch reports.
The report quoted President of Ohanaeze Youth Wing, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, who spoke on behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as saying Ogbonnaya Onu and Chris Ngige should have been given ‘more influential’ ministries than the Science and Technology, and Labour and Productivity, they got.
Isiguzoro said, “We are disappointed that somebody of the calibre of Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu was assigned to Science and Technology ministry, even Dr. Chris Ngige should have been appointed as the Health Minister instead of Labour and Productivity.
“Okechukwu Enalama should have been appointed Minister of Finance.
“Igbo ministers did not get juicy portfolios, except perhaps Ibe Kachikwu and Rotimi Amaechi, who are our brothers from the South-South.
“We are not happy that we did not get the juicy portfolios, although we are happy that our brothers from the Niger Delta got.
“Nevertheless, the era of impunity has gone and we expect all the Igbo ministers to perform excellently.
“We expect them to close ranks and work towards developing Igboland.”
Reacting to the portfolio given to the ministers, President of Njiko Igbo, Reverend Okechukwu Obioha, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has relegated Igbo ministers to the background in his cabinet, adding that the association was not surprised by the act.
“They are adding more salt to the injury, we expected that. We can see that we (Igbo) are not wanted in this country. At the moment, the sharing of the national cake is between the North and the South-West.
“What will Ngige be doing as Labour and Productivity minister when the Federal Government is not employing anyone, or creating jobs?
“Even the Foreign Affairs portfolio that was given to an Igboman, Geoffrey Onyeama, is of no consequence because already Buhari has travelled to most of the countries and he will continue to do so.
“He has travelled in six months more than the immediate past president travelled in six years.
“So the Foreign Affairs minister will just be a rubber stamp.
“Buhari has taken the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for himself, making an Igboman the Minister of State.
“So, Buhari has virtually given the Igbo nothing.
“But the problem is this will lead to more agitation for Biafra,” Obioha said.
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