If President Muhammadu Buhari is interested in getting Igbos into the ‘One Nigeria’ agenda, he must pay special attention to the ethnic group.
This is according to former presidency media aide Reno Omokri who worked under Buhari’s predecessor Goodluck Jonathan.
Igbos dominate Nigeria’s South-East where many voices, led by Nnamdi Kanu’s Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) now calls for a break away from the country.
Omokri said Buhari needs to, among other things, walk back his “97 per cent versus 5 per cent” mindset to arrest the trend and ensure national unity. After winning election, Buhari had openly said regions who gave him lower percentage of votes should not expect anything much from his presidency.
The Buhari government has also resorted to the use of military might against IPOB which it also designates a terrorist group.
“The best way to fight the rise of secessionists in the South-East is not with guns, bullets and helicopter gunships,” Omokri said in a social media post on Monday.
“Give them development. Stop your nepotism. Be fair and balanced in your appointments.
“Consider an Igbo man to replace (late chief of army staff) General Ibrahim Attahiru.
“Abandon the 97% versus 5% mentality. Lose your Igbophobia. Visit each Igbo state (Buhari has not visited Igboland since the 2019 election). Make Igbo monarchs pro-chancellors of federal universities in Northern Nigeria.
“Genuinely pursue an extra state for the South-East in the constitutional reform process, so they are equal with other geopolitical zones.
“Encourage a major political party to consider an Igbo presidential candidate. Embrace Igbos and Igbos will embrace Nigeria.”