Nigeria’s presidency on Friday spoke on President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Ebonyi and Anambra states on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It said the visit has clearly proven those insisting that Buhari hates Igbo wrong.
Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, in an article titled, ‘Wise men still come from the East’, said the trip was one visit that has “torpedoed the negative narrative deliberately conjured by some mischief makers over the years, that President Buhari does not like people from the East, and neither do the people like him”.
He noted that assertion is fiction, pure apocryphal, conjured and concocted by some people to serve narrow political ends.
Adesina further quipped, “In his first shot at the presidency in 2003, who was Buhari’s running mate? Dr Chuba Okadigbo. Where did he come from? Ogbunike, town of the famous cave, in the South-east.
”And in 2007, candidate Buhari looked towards the East again. He picked Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic, as running mate.
”And in 2011, I remember very clearly. Buhari was on the march again, and needed a running mate. Socio-political leadership of the South-east forbade any of its sons from being running mate to anyone.”
“Their candidate, they said, was Goodluck Jonathan, who then was completing the term of Umaru Yar’Adua. So, Buhari looked westward, and picked the cleric, Tunde Bakare. But did he demonstrate any animus towards the East? Not at all.
He recalled that in 2015, Buhari, whom he described as the most colourful politician, greatest crowd puller of this season in Nigeria, threw his hat into the ring again.
He said but the East was ’still in bed with Jonathan, completely besotted, vowing to swim or sink with their brother, Ebele Azikiwe”.
“Buhari looked westward again, picked Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as running mate. A large part of the East was dug in, not minding to play what may be called ‘poor politics’ in the process. When the dust of the elections settled, Jonathan was holding the shorter end of the stick.”
Adesina noted that although Buhari coasted to the presidency, the entire East gave him just about 180,000 votes, less than what some local councils gave in other parts of the country.