While waiting for the reaction of President Muhammadu Buhari to a letter written by Northern Elders on April 16, 2016 and presented by NEF Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Suleiman, an Igbo elder and former governor of Anambra State; Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife crafted his own letter in response to statements that Buhari was not doing enough to boost the economy of the Northern region.
In the first paragraph of his letter, he frowned on the Northern Elders for using Ambassador Maitama Suleiman as a front-man, in his statements, “Dr. Junaid Mohammed would have been the best option to symbolize such letter, because he is an agent of ethnicity discrimination just as the contents of your letter”.
Former Governor Ezeife regarded the points made by the northern elders as general problems faced by all Nigerians during President Buhari’s administration; such issues like the exchange rate of the naira on the Forex Market, high poverty levels in the country, and the inability of Buhari to fulfill promises made during his election campaign are Nigeria’s problems not Northern Nigeria’s problems according to Ezeife.
He did write that the poor economic situation Nigeria is faced with is certainly exacerbated as a result of negligence and slothfulness in the north towards the utilization of their available resources. Ezeife said that northerners have not made any major contributions to the country’s economic growth.
The Igbo Statesman confirmed in his letter that the agitation of groups from the south and eastern part of the country to create a seperate Biafran Republic during this administration is due to the hatred of Igbo people by President Buhari in his policies and rulings. For example, the appointment of a NIMASA member from the Eastern region of the country was withdrawn three days after his alleged appointment, Ezeife wrote.
He also faulted the biased nature of the present government in addressing the civil conflict faced by herdsmen killing each other for property and cattle in the eastern part of the country. “The Igbo people who tried to retaliate and stop the brutal killing of their people by Fulani Herdsmen in east became the punishable culprits in the sight of President Buhari”, he wrote.
He continued, writing no Igbo people were allowed to be a part of the National Security Council, and a south-easterner was not considered for the sixth geopolitical council.
The former governor advised the President to consider the reasonable points of the Northern Elders and the quiet cries from the east, west and southern part of the country, in implementing genuine “change” in order to move Nigeria forward.