Dr Josef Onoh, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and spokesman for the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has counseled Igbo elites against open confrontation with the incoming Federal Government, so the region does not stay in the cooler as it was in the outgoing government.
Onoh stated this in a statement on Monday in reaction to a statement credited to the former Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, who lamented that the incoming administration of President-elect Tinubu was already giving the South-East ‘a slice of soaked bread’ going by the composition of the Presidential Transition Committee.
According to Onoh, the Igbo people should not be hasty in making inflammatory speeches, adding that it was too early in the day for the South-East to pose as opposition once again to the federal government.
He also said that the incoming Tinubu administration would be a government for everyone and all parts of Nigeria, noting that the composition of the transition committee was the duty of the incumbent administration which should not be used as a yard stick to judge the Tinubu’s government in the waiting.
He also called on the people of the South-East not to express much worry, assuring that Tinubu was not into dirty politics as he never offered the Igbo any soaked bread, rather the Igbo chose to soak their bread themselves.
“But irrespective of that, we have always said that inauguration is not Asiwaju’s business, but by the present government, hence the Igbo have nothing to fear. I can assure our people that Asiwaju will not be discriminatory in his government.
“Irrespective of the fact that Asiwaju performed abysmally poor in the presidential election conducted in the states of the south east, where enough support was not given to him to emerge as president, I can vouch and assure our people that politics has come and gone and Asiwaju is now the President-elect and would soon be sworn-in as president and I can assure us that he would be a President of United Nigeria,” Onoh said.
He further maintained that the incoming Tinubu-led government can only be judged when it has been sworn-in and not by actions prior to the formation of the government. He added that the bulk of a transition committee rests squarely on the incumbent administration other than the yet to be inaugurated one.
He urged Ndigbo to cooperate with the incoming government being formed so as not to create an impression that the region had chosen to be in constant antagonism against the federal government once it’s not one of their own that is at the helm of affairs.
He added: “There is no point politicizing the inauguration committee which is being done in bad faith just to create a political divide. The inauguration committee is not an appointment; the members do not represent substantive appointment, but a mere selection to pilot a transition period. The committee does not determine the outlook of any government. One thing people should understand is that Mohammadu Buhari is still the President of Nigeria and we cannot have two presidents at a time and the outgoing administration is the one responsible for the inauguration of the incoming government.
“The Buhari government has the right to appropriate and designate responsibilities as it pleases and these responsibilities do not represent a bias or aimed at isolating any particular segment of the country. It is therefore wrong for people to politicize the composition of a mere transition council. The composition is not aimed at the isolation of any particular ethnic nationality, it’s not an appointment.”
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