Buhari Ezekwesili asks President to stop alienating South East region

The former minister asked that the president should desist from being a sectional leader.

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Oby Ezekwesili play

Oby Ezekwesili

(Information.ng)
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Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to stop punishing the entire South East region for the actions of a few agitators.

The former minister asked that the president should desist from being a sectional leader and stop making enemies with regions that are perceived to not be loyal to him.

President Muhammadu Buhari (R) with Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai (L) on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 play

President Muhammadu Buhari (R) with Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai (L) on Tuesday, September 12, 2017

(Twitter/@GovKaduna)

 

She said, "It is tragic that you, our President, Muhammadu Buhari, have deliberately or inadvertently alienated a segment of the people you lead. It is tragic.

"The leader of a country cannot be friends only of those he/she likes. No. That is not leadership. The leader builds up groups. Not divide. You cannot lead only those that worship and swear by you. You are the leader. You must carry the burden even of those that detest you.

"It is the lowest form of churlishness that is unbecoming of a leader to send signals that you dislike anyone of the groups you lead. A leader is a winner. When a winner acts like a loser, things go wrong in their kingdom. Real leaders build a bond with all their people.

"Worst is when a leader makes enemies of most because he abhors the action of one or a few. That is not leadership! That is ethnic prejudice. A real leader does not suffer from the destructive disease of ethnic prejudice. It endangers his/her people and real leaders cannot bear such."

ALSO READ: Ezekwesili labels President's speech 'a terrible case of missed opportunity'

Her recent comment is a reaction to the ongoing deployment of soldiers in the South-East which has led to tensions this week with members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and their leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

Nnamdi Kanu play

Nnamdi Kanu

(AFP)

 

A detachment of the Nigerian Army had been present around the home of the IPOB leader on Tuesday, September 12, creating heightened tension with members of the group.

This happened only days after soldiers clashed with members of IPOB while trying to gain access to the group's leader's house on Sunday, September 10.

While reports indicated that soldiers had tried to gain access into Kanu's father's compound in Umuahia and shot at IPOB members who formed a human shield to keep them out, the army dismissed the claims and said the soldiers had been attacked with stones while passing through the residence in a new armoured carrier.

ALSO READ: Nnamdi Kanu accuses military of planning to assassinate him

While reacting to the incident on Monday, September 11, Kanu accused Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, of trying to incite his group into arming themselves to deliberately provoke a war.

He said, "Nigeria is bringing war to us, we're not fighting anybody. It is Buratai and his men that are bringing war unto us.

"They want us to become armed so that the world can say that Nnamdi Kanu is leading a violent armed group, which is not the case.

"They're provoking us to war."

The IPOB leader also maintained that the only way to end the group's agitation for an independent Biafra is through a referendum.

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