Buhari said he remains a friend to Ndigbo, while recalling notable various instances when he demonstrated the gesture.
He made this statement through his representative, the Executive Director Administration and Training, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Dr. Steve Egbo, during a special empowerment programme for widows organised by the Chinedu Ogah Foundation in Ebonyi State.
There, he restated his resolve to collaborate with the people of the South-East geopolitical zone, in moving the country forward.
He however dispelled rampant allegations that he has much hatred for the people of the South-East saying: “all these accusations, permutations are all lies calculated to create bad feelings of the Igbo people” and also described it as “mischief-makers’” handiwork.
Furthermore, he recalled three notable instances when he has demonstrated his love and companionship for the Igbo people.
He said: “I will remain a friend to Ndigbo. I recall that in 2002, I invited the late Akimbo Chukwuemeka Ojukwu to my hometown of Duara. We discussed about the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria.
“In 2003, I picked Dr. Chuba Okadigbo as my running mate in that year’s presidential election. If I hated Ndigbo, I wouldn’t have done that.
“In 2017, the Federal Government, under my leadership, commenced work on the Second Niger Bridge following its abandonment by the previous government all these years.”
While speaking about the plans for the widows, the Chief Executive Chinedu Ogah Foundation, Mr. Chinedu Ogah, commended the President for his leadership style and delivery of his delivery democratic dividend to Nigerians.
Meanwhile, President Buhari commended the Ndigbo, describing their entrepreneurship nature as “unique”, while encouraging other ethnic nationalities to emulate them for it to the improve the progress of the country.
President Buhari was conferred Chieftaincy title of Ochi Oha Ndigbo (leader of all) of Igboland by the South-East Traditional rulers, and Enyi Oma 1 (number one good friend) of Ebonyi State by the Ebonyi State Traditional Council, on November 13, 2017.
Article by Muhammad Adenowo