Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has upbraided President Muhammadu Buhari for replacing the sacked National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director General, Ambassador Ayo Oke with Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, a northerner.
Fayose said this has further confirmed the president as a northern irredentist, adding: “The president has further demonstrated to Nigerians that he is an unrepentant sectional leader, who does not care about the feelings of people from other parts of the country.”
“With the appointment of Ahmed Rufai Abubakar as the NIA Director General, all heads of security agencies are now northerners and the question is, is this what those who enshrined federal character in our constitution envisaged?”
The governor’s Special Assistant on Public Communications, Lere Olayinka, quoted him as saying in a statement issued in Ado Ekiti yesterday, that “seeing what President Buhari has turned the country to, the forefathers of Nigeria, who laid the foundation of the country on equity, justice and fairness will be lamenting wherever they are now.”
He said: “Ambassador Ayo Oke was removed from office the same day Babachir Lawal was removed as Secretary to the Government of the Federation. While Lawal’s replacement came from his home state, Oke’s replacement came from the North. That is unacceptable.”
Fayose, who reminded Nigerians of the President Buhari’s directive that the World Bank should shift its focus to the northern region of Nigeria, maintained that “because of the president’s nepotism, religious bigotry and favouritism, Nigeria is now more divided than ever before.
He said it remained on record that President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, reportedly said that in his very first meeting with President Buhari, he (Buhari) said specifically that he would like the World Bank to shift its focus to the northern region of Nigeria.
The governor said: “President Buhari has consistently demonstrated that he is an ethnic champion, a religious bigot and the number one promoter of disunity in Nigeria. This he has done again with the appointment of yet another northerner as the NIA Director General.
“Even at a point, the National Chairman of the President’s party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun had to openly fault the appointments made by the President, saying that as many as three people were appointed from one ward in a local government in the North.
“The implication of what the president has done is that, when security council meeting is held today, apart from one or two insignificant people, those in the meeting will be people from one section of the country.
“Even para-military agencies are headed by people from president Buhari’s section of the country. This is unfair.”
Reminding Nigerians of his earlier warnings that President Buhari was operating as a president of the Northern Nigeria only and the appointments made by the President negated the principle of federal character, Governor Fayose said: “Those who argued then that the president made the appointments on merit should come to the open to tell Nigerians, especially those from the South that there is no one that merited appointment as Director General of NIA.”