Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe’s resort to misrepresentation and a tissue of lies, in order to get a point of view across, has been described as most unbecoming.
According to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), the Senator’s claim that there is only one personal aide of the President from the South-East is quite mischievous.
“His further attempt to give the impression that President Muhammadu Buhari has not done anything for that region is quite laughable and ridiculous, given the realities on ground”.
The group said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that Senator Abaribe ended up making himself look silly by suggesting that the only personal aide of the President from the region is ‘only’ a photographer.
“It beggars belief that an opposition Senator who has been in the corridors of powers since 1999 could knowingly seek to hoodwink Nigerians with a false narrative in a bid to portray President Buhari in a bad light.
“Aside from being wide off the mark on the multiple award-winning former ‘This Day’ editor, Sunday Aghaeze who was headhunted by the President for the role he is playing in the Presidency, Abaribe out of mischief, or perhaps ignorance, left out Oge Modie, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Strategic Communications and Uche Ozurumba, Special Assistant to the President on Strategic Communications.
“Others are Francis Anatogu, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President (public sector matters); Nneka Ikejiani, Senior Technical Assistant to the President (delivery unit); Somkele Awa- Kalu, Special Assistant to the President (research); Tochi Nwachukwu, Special Assistant to the President (power privatisation) and Nkechi Chukwueke, Special Assistant to the President (community engagement).
There are also Nkoli Anyaoku, Special Assistant to the President (DCOS); Nonye Ojekwe, Special Assistant to the President (political matters); Louisa Chinedu-Okeke, Special Assistant to the President (finance) and Juliet Chikaodili-Nwagu, Special Assistant to the President (justice sector reforms and international relations).
“Or is it that the Senator who has no record of achievement in all his years as a senior PDP government official wants to deny their ‘Igboness’ as people like him love to do mischievously?
“We challenge him to tell Nigerians what he has done in his political career for the South East people from when he was Deputy Governor in Abia State in 1999 to all his years in the Senate, especially when his party was in power at the centre.
“Abaribe’s State is also seen as one of the worst in terms of development out of the 36 States in the country even though his party had produced all the Governors since the return to civil rule, yet he is so comfortable with hateful and divisive rhetorics.
“If he could afford to sleep comfortably each night with what his party has been doing in Abia since1999, then we won’t be surprised he could seek to water down the concern expressed by the Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi about PDP’s treatment of the South East,” the group added.
BMO also lambasted the opposition Senator for reducing governance to personal benefits and access to those around the President.
“Senator Abaribe’s reference to conducting government business through personal contact in the Presidential Villa is a throwback to his knowledge of the PDP era governance where deals are cut on a regular basis like a bazaar.
“Is he saying that all the political elites needed to do to get things done back then was to know someone who will put in a word or two for them?
“If that’s the case, the one-time Abia State deputy governor needs to tell Nigerians how he used access to power through the ‘back channels’ contacts to better the lives of the people he claims to be representing when PDP was in power.
“We dare say however that things are different under President Buhari who has arguably done more for the South East region than any President since 1999.
“It is by no means a coincidence that Abaribe could not accuse the President of not extending infrastructural development to the region, but rather chose to highlight what he thinks he could easily get away with.
“We want to remind Nigerians that as of 2019, the Federal Government had 69 ongoing projects in the South East, including a few that were abandoned by previous administrations.
“This is aside from the Second Niger Bridge which is due for completion in a few months and the Ariaria Market Electrification Project, amongst others, that have recently earned the President commendation from Governors in the region for positively changing the infrastructural landscape.”
BMO also urged South Easterners and all Nigerians to ignore the Senate Minority Leader who has no record of public achievements in the region to show for all his years in the National Assembly.