Buhari, S’East Ministers Shun Economic, Security Submit in Enugu

In apparent submission to the threat of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to make his visit unwelcomd, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday stayed away from the maiden South-East Economic and Security Summit held in Enugu.
No representative was sent and no reason was offered for his absence. Also, ministers from the zone did not attend the summit.
Buhari was meant to be the Chief Guest of Honour at the summit, which held in the Enugu State Government House.
On Wednesday, IPOB had protested the President’s visit, warning him to stay off Ibo land.
The President was billed to attend the summit alongside other top Nigerians but IPOB warned the President not to visit any part of Biafra land.
The continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu, the Director of Radio Biafra has fueled the agitation for Biafra although the President has insisted that Nigeria will not break-up.
“From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that Buhari is not welcome in Biafra land because his coming is tantamount to biting off our nose to spite our face.
“Therefore, we warn Muhammadu Buhari to stay away from Biafra land to avoid unpleasant consequences on him and those inviting him. To be forewarned is to be forearmed,” IPOB had said.
Youths hoisting Biafra flags took to the streets in Enugu chanting Biafra and warning that the President should not set foot in the state.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Summit, former power minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji, in his opening remarks, observed, “We have not seen the President.”
Later on, in a presentation by the summit committee, Nnaji had to substitute Buhari’s name with that of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who attended the event as the ‘Distinguished Guest of Honour’, in the introductory part of a prepared address where he was to thank Buhari for attending the occasion as the Chief Guest of Honour.
Instead of thanking Buhari for gracing the occasion as the chief guest of honour, as stated in the prepared address, Nnaji thanked Obasanjo for attending the event as the distinguished guest of honour.
Nnaji also thanked the Enugu State government for undertaking to sponsor some aspects of the President’s visit.
The Chairman of the event, former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, drew attention to Buhari’s absence.
“I was going to start by saluting the representative of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but I have not been told of such a person,” the retired diplomat said.
Anyaoku went further to express regrets that Buhari was not present at the event.
Rounding up his address with a call for the restructuring of the country, he said, “I had hoped that Mr. President would be here to hear me.
“Like Cato, the Roman senator who always ended his speeches by calling for the destruction of Carthage until his call was heeded, I will restate my assertion that if the Nigerian federation is restructured to have less federating units, this country will achieve greater stability and faster pace of development, and there will no longer be a need for the Federal Government to bailout many of the non-viable 36 states.”

Author: News Editor

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