- Says nothing wrong if Buhari heeds call to rejig cabinet
By Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors’ Forum and Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, yesterday in Abuja said the interview granted by the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, to the
BBC Hausa Service last Friday and her husband’s response had been taken out of context.
Okorocha, who also said there was nothing wrong if the president heeded calls that he should rejig his cabinet, said the president wife’s interview which continues to generate a lot of comments, was not aimed at bringing down her husband’s government.
In the interview, Aisha reportedly said she might not support her husband if he runs for election in 2019.
She had also explained that her husband did not know many of the people he appointed into his cabinet.
Buhari, in his reaction to the interview during his trip to Germany, had laughed off the comment made by his wife, saying she belonged to his kitchen and that he did not know which party she belonged to.
“I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room,” Buhari said
But addressing journalists in Abuja, Okorocha said Aisha’s interview and the president’s comments were taken out of context.
Okorocha said: “I am concerned and let me say that our nation is passing through a very difficult time now ranging from economic, security and political challenges.
“This is the time that all Nigerians irrespective of political party, religion, culture must come together to see what we can do to salvage the situation and to build the Nigeria of our collective hope and aspiration and this is what we must emphasise at this time and we do not need any form of distraction whatsoever at this time.”
He appealed to Nigeria to support the president to achieve the three key things- economic, security and power and fight against corruption for the country to make headway.
“I think we are beginning to see light at the dark end of the tunnel,” the governor added.
He further said: “What is now trending on the social media, the comment of Mr. President and interview of the his wife and I was there when Mr. President made the comment. I think both the interview and the comment were taken out of context.
“I tend to believe that Nigerians should understand this matter because I do not think those were the intentions as being described on social media and those condemning the act. I can put it this way that it is a joke taken too far outside the shores of Nigeria.”
He said anyone who has been with the president especially where he cracks jokes, would understand that it was the president’s style of jokes because he was smiling when he was responding.
Okorocha said: “If not, why would he have his five daughters having Masters and Ph.Ds and his wife educated and putting women in key positions in the country, I don’t think it is.
“Aisha Buhari who granted the interview didn’t give that interview to bring down her husband government, she was only trying to make peace among perceived aggrieved members in the polity.”
Okorocha, who was on the entourage of Buhari to Germany, said the trip was not a medical trip for the president as being insinuated by some people.
He explained that the trip was worthwhile as the president used the opportunity to discuss issues of security and investments with the German Chancellor, Angela Mekel.
Okorocha also said there was nothing wrong if the president heeded calls that he should rejig his cabinet.
He said: “Quite frankly, I am a governor and I know where the shoe pinches more. It is natural that people who are in the game and those who outside tend to see more, if there is a clarion call for Mr. President to take a look at his cabinet and bring in more people, their is nothing wrong for Mr. president to take note of comments by people because if everyone keeps saying the same thing, there may be sense in what they are saying but that is not really the situation that would create for a big hullabaloo, most people of the party felt that they have not been carried along, I know that many of them complain everyday by day, they want board appointments released so that there will be calm.
“The people from the South-east said they have not been appointed, the people from the North-east and even from the North-west where Mr. President comes from said that have not been appointed, some local governments and villages are saying they have not been remembered, so at what point do we draw this line but there is always room for amendment because there is no perfection.”