Speaking with Punch, the elder statesman noted that the Igbos do not want special treatment but fair sharing in the scheme of things in the country.
He said, “Chief Olusegun) Obasanjo was president of Nigeria. Was IPOB fighting him? Was MASSOB (Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra) fighting him? Was Biafra being promoted? (Former President Umaru) Yar’Adua was also from the North. (Dr. Goodluck) Jonathan spent over four years as the president of Nigeria. During his time, did you hear of anyone fighting for Biafra? Why is Buhari pushing the South-East out of Nigeria? If one wants to appoint people and they are removed from the offices they are in, does he want to make Igbo traders bankrupt?
“Last time, Mr. President said he was coming to Enugu State. He didn’t go, neither did he send a representative or an apology. The President is disdainful of Igbos and it doesn’t matter. We are begging him because he’s President. We could say we don’t care. But we must care because he is sharing what belongs to all of us to some of us and Igbos are left out.”
On why the Igbo people stood behind former president, Goodluck Jonathan during his tenure, the elder statesman recalled that many Igbos held high positions in the last administration.
His words, “In Nigeria, no person from the South-East has been president. The South-East gave him (Jonathan) all the votes it could give him. Even for a second term, they stood by him without looking back. Yes, our roads were not taken care of, yet we had our sons and daughters in high positions of Jonathan’s government — and we had Jonathan himself. At Enugu, I raised the question when Jonathan came for a town hall meeting: ‘Are you sure nobody is sabotaging you as far as roads in the East are concerned?’
“All the roads were bad and these were the people that voted in the president. I said it openly, but that didn’t stop the South-East and South-South from giving maximum votes to Jonathan. Obasanjo placed our son (Jonathan) as vice president (under Yar’Adua). So, we are grateful to Obasanjo. We must support our son and we did.”